Charleston County deputies on Saturday busted 50 teens for underage drinking at a bonfire in McClellanville.

Deputies charged Eleanor Richards, 49, of Mercantile Road with contributing to the delinquency of a minor in connection with the incident, a report states.

Deputies arrived at Richards' home about 9 p.m. after hearing loud music and seeing several parked cars blocking the road.

A group of teens was gathered around a bonfire at the home, deputies said.

At the sight of deputies, several of them threw beer cans into the flames, ran to their vehicles and drove off, deputies said. Others ran toward nearby woods but returned to the bonfire telling deputies they didn't know where they were going.

Richards told deputies she didn't know the party was going on.

She had slurred speech, was unsteady on her feet and appeared to be under the influence of some sort of medication, deputies said.

Deputies searched Richards' home and found more teens hidden in closets and bathrooms. Others were busy pouring bottles of alcohol down the kitchen sink, deputies said.

Deputies also smelled marijuana coming from upstairs, the report states.

Fifty teens, ranging in age from 15 to 19, were cited for being a minor in possession of beer and were escorted from the scene, the report states.

Deputies arranged for Richards to turn herself in on a later date for medical reasons, according to the report.

A judge on Wednesday granted her a $20,000 personal recognizance bond, court records show.

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at


Previous versions of this story incorrectly characterized the manner in which the teens were escorted from the house.