EWING, NJ -- A 54-year-old Ewing Township man faces multiples citations after hosting a "Corona Party" Friday evening in violation of the State's temporary ban on gatherings during the on-going COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic announced Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri. He and Ewing Police Chief John P. Stemler III reported the man was issued two disorderly persons citations for hosting a party in his apartment Friday evening.
At approximately 1:00 am Saturday, March 28, Ewing police were called to an apartment on Concord Avenue on a noise violation. At the location, 47 people were allegedly having a party that included a DJ with speakers, alcohol and the smell of marijuana. Police broke up the party and released everyone except for the tenant, who was issued disorderly persons citations for obstruction and violating an executive order.
Ewing police noted that the apartment was 550 square feet with one bedroom and one bathroom. Almost all of the people at the party were squeezed together inside, with a handful outside of the residence.
During his daily press briefing, Governor Phil Murphy admonished the man for his actions and said that he should serve as a warning to others.
"Can’t believe I have to say this at all, let alone for the second time. But here we are. No Corona Parties. They’re illegal, dangerous, and stupid," said Murphy. "We will crash your party. You will pay a big fine. And we will name and shame you until everyone gets this message into their head."
Prosecutor Onofri praised the response of the officers and the decision to disperse the party-goers rather than charge everyone in attendance and also gave a stern reminder to the public to heed the Governor’s executive orders..
“The goal was to break up the party and send everyone home. Based on safety and resources, police made the right call to only issue citations to the host,” he said. “These are mandates, not suggestions. Mercer County and the entire state of New Jersey will not tolerate such irresponsible, criminal behavior, and violators will be prosecuted. Not only are these actions illegal, but in a time where such reckless conduct could endanger family, loved ones, first responders and the community at large, they are also unethical.”
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