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Police & Fire

Underaged prom-goers stopped in disco-rigged party bus

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

Dozens of underaged high-schoolers were partying in a converted school bus rigged with bars, a dance floor and a fog machine when police pulled them over on a North Jersey highway following an after-prom party in Manhattan.

Some of the 50 or so Morristown High schoolers were tossing cups and bottles from the brightly painted “chiva,” making drivers on Route 3 swerve, when a cop spotted them.

Styled after the diesel trucks converted into buses that are commonly used as rural transports in Colombia, chivas were brought to the U.S. in the mid-90s and quickly became part of the social scene in the outer boroughs.


Chivas often are used for bachelorette parties and to shuttle club-goers — including celebrities.

The owner of the 1995 Ford school bus stopped by Bergen County Police around 4 a.m. Friday bills it as “one of the best Latin-American cultural traditions over wheels,” but county Executive Dennis McNearny said it had several violations — among them, broken headlights and brake lights and both a muffler and oil pan that had been damaged.

Some of the teens reportedly were salsa dancing as the bus tooled down the highway. To keep their balance, they clung to nylon straps hanging from the ceiling. Meanwhile, others sat on cushions.

La Chiva NY

Police charged four dozen occupants, all either 20 or younger, with underaged drinking.

They also charged five adults who operate the Queens-based business — including the promoter, the driver and three deejays — with allowing minors to drink. The chiva had left the prom in Parsippany earlier Thursday night, students said.

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