HOWELL TOWNSHIP, NJ — Hundreds gathered at a house party in Howell Township on Sunday, less than a week after New Jersey tightened indoor gathering restrictions because of an increase in the rate of coronavirus transmission.
Local police asked for help from from Wall, Brick, Jackson, Freehold, Monmouth and Ocean County Sheriffs and State Police because of the large number of people at the party. There were about 300 people at the party.
"Most of the attendees are compliant," police said. "Others are hesitant and are directing their anger towards the host who charged admission."
Police arrested the host.
"At one point, we probably had about 500 people here," said Howell Police Sgt. Christian Antunez. "When we got here there were party buses dropping people off."
Police said there was admission to get in — $30 for women and $40 for men.
"Some paid up to $650 for a cabana rental," said Antunez.
A flier advertising the pool party on Wilson Drive lists prices and a DJ.
"I was in disbelief," said Pam Borges, who struggled to get into her own neighborhood when police blocked off all the streets. "My neighbors were talking about them urinating on their cars."
It took police two hours to break it up.
On Monday, Gov. Phil Murphy attributed many coronavirus cases in the state to parties.
"We believe that some of this increase is attributable to the number of indoor house parties we’ve been seeing across the state. Indoor gatherings are not safe," he said.