Coronavirus

New Jersey Man Charged as Police Crash ‘Corona Party’

Prosecutors are charging the man with two disorderly persons citations

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New Jersey officials are bringing formal charges against a man for throwing a house party — an action in direct contradiction with the state's order to practice social distancing.

The Mercer County Prosecutor's Office said a 54-year-old man hosted nearly 50 people inside his Ewing Township apartment. Prosecutors are charging the man with two disorderly persons citations.

Ewing police broke up the party after receiving a noise complaint around 1 a.m. Saturday, prosecutors said. The apartment, they said, was approximately 550 square feet, with one bedroom and one bathroom.

Upon arrival at the apartment, police "observed 47 people having a party that included a DJ with speakers, alcohol and the smell of marijuana," the prosecutors reported.

The party, hosted one week after Gov. Phil Murphy ordered New Jerseyans to cancel large gatherings through an executive order, also surpasses the CDC's recommendation of limiting gatherings to less than 10 people.

"The goal was to break up the party and send everyone home. Based on safety and resources, police made the right call to only issue citations to the host," said Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri.

Meanwhile, Murphy said Saturday the state saw another 2,289 positive test results overnight Friday into Saturday, bringing the statewide total to 11,124. Another 32 New Jersey residents have died, Murphy added, bringing the number of deaths in the state to 140.

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