EWING TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A New Jersey man has been criminally charged for a weekend party he held that crammed about four dozen people, including a DJ, in a 550-square-foot apartment.
Wade E. Jackson, 47, of Ewing, was issued tickets for a violation of emergency or temporary acts and obstructing administration of law or other governmental function, authorities said.
An angry Gov. Phil Murphy announced the incident on social media Saturday.
“Last night, Ewing Township Police broke up a party with 47 people – including a DJ – crammed into a 550-square foot apartment,” Murphy wrote on Facebook and Twitter. “The organizer was charged, as they should have been and deserved to be.
“This is not a game. Stay home. Be smart.”
Ewing police officials said in a statement that 911 dispatchers received an anonymous call around 11:44 p.m. Friday about the gathering.
“Officers dispersed over 40 attendees that were attending a gathering for what the renter of the apartment called a ‘corona party,’” the statement said.
The officers dispersed the crowd and cited Jackson for the violations of Murphy’s executive order prohibiting large gatherings, which reads in part: “Gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations or other social events, are canceled, unless otherwise authorized by any part of this order.”
Along with the announcement of the illegal party, Murphy on Saturday announced new totals in the number of coronavirus cases in New Jersey.
“We have 2,289 new positive #COVID-19 cases, bringing our total to 11,124,” the governor tweeted.
That total shot up to 13,386 as of Sunday morning.
In a follow-up tweet Saturday, Murphy again addressed the party of the night before.
“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,” Murphy wrote. “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 heads.”
As of Monday morning, Johns Hopkins University had tallied a total of 143,532 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. A total of 2,572 people had died, including 55 people in New Jersey.