Police break up house party with DJ in Ewing Township, one man charged

Charlotte Reese
March 29, 2020 - 10:21 am

EWING TOWNSHIP, N.J. (KYW Newsradio) — Police in New Jersey broke up a house party early Saturday morning, despite Gov. Phil Murphy's executive order cancelling all gatherings.

At a press briefing Saturday, Murphy said police in Ewing Township broke up a party with 47 people, including a DJ, inside a 550-square-foot apartment on Concord Avenue.

The police got the call around 1 a.m. Saturday for a noise violation. The tenant, a 54-year-old Ewing Township man, was charged with two disorderly citations, according to a statement from the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office. No one else at the party was charged.

"We are not going to be shy about naming and shaming those who can’t get this message into their heads," said Murphy, who reiterated the need for everyone to observe the stay-at-home order.

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"This is not a game," he urged. "It is critical that you stay at home unless you absolutely need to go out or because we need you on the front lines helping us respond to this crisis in whichever we have asked you to help."

"And if you do go out, whether it's to a super market or to a pharmacy, keep a safe six-foot distance from anybody else including family members and friends you may be with," he added.

Prosecutor Angelo Onofri praised the responding officers decision to disperse partygoers, rather than charge everyone. "The goal was to break up the party and send everyone home," he said in the statement.

Onofri also echoed the governor's warnings, saying these orders were not suggestions, but mandates. "Mercer County and the entire state of New Jersey will not tolerate such irresponsible, criminal behavior and violators will be prosecuted," he added.

New Jersey officials announced Sunday that the state total of positive cases is now at 13,386. With 21 new coronavirus-related deaths, the total is now at 161.

In the seven South Jersey counties, there are at least 420 positive cases and at least six deaths. State figures also include 22,216 negative results from tests conducted by the state and private labs.