On Sunday, June 24th, 2017 at 12:20 a.m., the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting a 16 year old male, identified as Noah Flaherty, unresponsive in the 600 block of North Walnut, with CPR in progress. Emergency medical services arrived on scene and attempted to provide life saving measures on Flaherty, but were unsuccessful. Flaherty was transported to the Palo Alto County Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Initial reports from the driver of the vehicle, Jaecy Hauge (18), and a juvenile male passenger, both of Graettinger, was that Flaherty was seen on the back of Hauge’s vehicle before Hauge left her residence of 4240 270th Street, which is approximately 1 mile north of Graettinger. Hauge and the male passenger both reported that Hauge told Flaherty to get off her vehicle prior to leaving her property and that they believed Flaherty had done so prior to Hauge driving away. Hauge then drove the male passenger to his home in Graettinger. While returning to Hauge’s residence, Hauge located Flaherty lying unresponsive in the roadway in the 600 block of North Walnut. Hauge sought assistance from friends and neighbors in the 600 block of North Walnut before emergency medical services were contacted.
A further investigation by the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office indicated that Flaherty was attending an underage alcohol party with several other friends at 4240 270th Street, Graettinger, which is in Emmet County. Hauge was inside of this residence with the juvenile male passenger and was not taking part in the underage drinking, which was occurring outside.
Hauge and the male passenger left from inside Hauge’s residence and located Flaherty sitting on the back trunk of Hauge’s vehicle directly behind the driver’s side back seat. Hauge and the male passenger entered Hauge’s vehicle after notifying Flaherty to get off of the vehicle. The investigation indicates that Flaherty shifted his body and laid on his stomach facing forward, with his body stretched from the vehicles roof, over the rear window and trunk directly behind the driver’s side back seat. Flaherty then rode on Hauge’s vehicle into town without the knowledge of Hauge or the passenger. Flaherty attempted to exit from or fell off the back of Hauge’s vehicle in the 600 block of North Walnut. During this action Flaherty struck his head on the roadway, causing a severe head injury, which was the official cause of his death.
After an investigation into who supplied alcohol for the underage drinking party, the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office obtained an arrest warrant for Payton Brower (18), of Terril, Iowa, charging him with possession of alcohol under the legal age and supplying alcohol to persons under the legal age, both simple misdemeanors. The warrant was executed on 9-8-17 at 7:45 p.m. when Brower arrived at the Palo Alto County Sheriff’s Office and surrendered. Brower was not able to post the $350.00 bond and was jailed.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.