A crowd of party-goers turned a section of the highly trafficked Manhattan Bridge pedestrian walkway into an outdoor nightclub Saturday night, drawing revelers through word of mouth and social media to a spontaneous festival that ended with the arrest of the event's organizer, authorities said.
Police patrolling the bridge arrested 19-year-old Alexander Shlaferman, who allegedly organized the hours-long party on the 5,780-foot long span, and two of his friends. The three men were charged with reckless endangerment, trespass, disorderly conduct and criminal nuisance.
Police said they did not have a permit for the Saturday night soiree.
Photos and videos posted online show dozens of people dancing to blasting electronic music as trains and cars passed by. Bicyclists also use the pedestrian walkway taken over by the party-goers, and Shlaferman told NBC 4 New York all the revelers cheered each time a cyclist rode by.
He said he didn't know how many people ultimately showed up.
"It wasn't about throwing a party," Shlaferman says. "It was about creating an experience."
The 19-year-old said he was sober throughout the evening and didn't promote drinking among the revelers, but he believes he deserved to be arrested for failing to get proper permits.
He says that he doesn't plan to throw any other pop-up parties and will instead be concentrating on a toy business that he owns and operates.