A 700-person party in Jackson, New Jersey, is probably going to stand out in any summer, but particularly when most people are trying their best to stay socially distanced, it surely won’t be long before the cops come knocking.
The good news, at least if you’re a partygoer, is that there is strength in numbers, and it will apparently take several hours for the authorities to finally shut it down.
According to the Jackson Police Department, cops responded to a report of a “suspicious incident” at a house around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. Police said they found a large crowd at the residence that “grew to an estimate excess of 700 people with well over 100 vehicles parked in the area.”
However, despite receiving help from other departments in the area, it took until approximately 1 a.m. for officers to fully clear the neighborhood.
“It’s upsetting because we live in a really quiet neighborhood,” resident Karen Levine told the Asbury Park Press. “We have parties, but this was something out of the ordinary.”
Police say that the event was advertised on social media as a “Liberian Independence Day” party, adding that the homeowner had rented out the residence on Airbnb and left the area as the party started to expand. The homeowner and two party organizers were both issued court summonses for violating Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order limiting the size of gatherings.
State Police Superintendent Colonel Patrick J. Callahan mentioned the incident at a press conference on Monday, speculating that these kinds of events can spring up when people have nowhere else to drink and socialize.
“I do think the fact that bars and restaurants are closed then creates this quote-unquote underground situation,” Callahan said. “Which is certainly not one that we want because young people — even if you’re asymptomatic and you’re positive — the fact that you can transmit that your family members is certainly one that concerns us.”
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