When New Jersey Police learned that a Gloucester Township owner was planning to throw a large poolside party where attendees would be charged with admission, they said they warned him of “potential violations.”
Sunday’s party in Sicklerville, about 20 miles from Philadelphia, continued and the owner and promoter of the event have been charged, Gloucester Township police said on Monday. It’s at least the third major party closed in New Jersey last week where guests paid entrance fees.
Lt. Jason Gittens said Wednesday that police learned through social media that owner Jeffrey Davis Jr. would be hosting a “for-profit pool party.”
Officers contacted Davis last Thursday and warned him of potential violations of state order against large social gatherings and local ordinances for hosting a party during the COVID-19 pandemic, police said.
From 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., officers guarded the single-family home at 12 Prospect Court and observed around 250 people inside and outside the property attending the pool party, police said. Participants were billed an admission fee of $ 35 and were observed not to wear masks or practice social distancing, the police lieutenant said. The state limits outdoor gatherings to 500 people and social distancing must be practiced.
Loud music was also playing in violation of the township noise ordinance, according to police, who said eight vehicles had been ticketed for parking violations.
“The officers asked the owner to shut down the party, and when the attendees left, large crowds littered the street with garbage,” police said in a press release.
Davis, 31, and a man identified by police as party promoter Marheem Miller, 28, of Camden, have been charged with three counts of violating governor’s orders. Davis also received a garbage summons and will be charged with violating the local zoning order. Davis and Miller could not be reached immediately for comment on Wednesday.
Separately, police in Howell Township, about 65 miles northeast of Philadelphia, held what they described as a “pop-up party” on Sunday at which 300 people were in attendance. Most of the attendees were compliant, police said, adding that others were angry with the host who accused the admission.
On July 26, a party owner and two organizers were charged with violating a governor’s order limiting the size of gatherings after Jackson police spent nearly five hours shutting down the event that drew over 700 people towards an Airbnb rental, the police told me.
Last week Gov. Phil Murphy reduced the number of people allowed to gather indoors to 25% of the capacity of a room with a maximum of 25 – down from the previous limit of 100 people – following information on major house parties and indoor events.
“Unfortunately, the actions of a few knuckleheads leave us no further course,” Murphy said. “We need to go back and tighten these restrictions.”