New Jersey police break up massive house party with 300 guests, arrest host


Police broke up a massive New Jersey house party that violated state health mandates on indoor gatherings, authorities said Sunday. The host of the event was arrested.

About 300 people were at the "pop up party" on Wilson Drive in the Ramtown district of Howell Township, which is about 65 miles outside of Philadelphia, town police said.

The out-of-control bash was so big that Howell Township authorities needed the help of police from five neighboring towns, the Ocean County Sheriff's Office and New Jersey State Police.

"Most of the attendees are compliant," Howell police said in a statement. "Others are hesitant and are directing their anger towards the host who charged admission."

Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy last week lowered the number of people allowed to gather inside to 25 percent of capacity, with a maximum of 25 people — down from the previous standard of 100 people maximum. There had been reports of large parties in New Jersey.

Murphy said the parties were concerning as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the country, and with the infection rate slightly increasing in the Garden State. However, the governor said Friday that the state’s COVID-19 trends were now heading in the right direction.

The host of the Howell Township party was not immediately identified.

Even after breaking up the party, police said they had officers patrol the neighborhood, to make sure the party didn't reignite.

"Several patrol units will remain in the area to prevent others from arriving and/or returning and to monitor surrounding streets as there’s been reports of stragglers urinating on people’s property and vehicles," the police statement said. "A majority of those who attended are not local."

It's unclear if anyone else was arrested.

Originally published