A New Jersey man was arrested for allegedly hosting a massive house party in Alpine that was attended by hundreds of people, most of whom were not wearing masks and were ignoring social distancing protocols during the coronavirus pandemic, authorities said Monday.
Tashay Knight, 45, was charged with "recklessly creating a risk of widespread injury or damage," Alpine police said in a press release provided to BuzzFeed News.
He was also issued multiple summonses, including one for violating the governor's executive order that mandates hosts to require that their guests wear face coverings and practice social distancing, police said.
Knight turned himself in to police on Friday and is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 26. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney.
The Aug. 1 party, which drew an estimated 300 to 400 people to an Alpine mansion, was disbanded by police at 10 p.m. after they received noise complaints from local residents.
Police said that most of the attendees — who had purchased tickets for the party online — were not wearing face coverings or socially distancing. Authorities said it took three to four hours and several local law enforcement agencies to clear all the attendees from the party. One person was taken away in an ambulance, NBC News reported.
One party attendee told NBC News that she and her friends were taken to the party via a shuttle from Brooklyn. "I don't know what kind of scheme, or what they was doing, what kind of scam it was, but I don't appreciate how I was treated, how my friends were treated, how packed it was," the attendee said.
Alpine police said they had received ongoing noise complaints about the residence and had previously responded to another event held there in July.
The home's owner, Joseph LaBarbiera, said he had leased the property to "Wonder Boy Music Group," authorities said. LaBarbiera did not immediately return a request for comment.
“I am aware only generally of the party in Alpine, and I have not liked what I’ve heard," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said during a press briefing in early August.
In early July, Murphy signed an executive order increasing outdoor gatherings to 500 people, an increase from 250 people. Indoor gatherings were capped at 25% capacity, with a maximum of 100 people, but this was decreased to 25 people on Aug. 4.
Partygoers told NBC News that they had purchased tickets for the event, which was billed as "The Lavish Experience" and said to be held at a "secret location" that would be revealed the day of.
This was reportedly one of a series of promoted parties at the New Jersey home, including one labeled "Bikini Palooza 2020" in early July. An Eventbrite page for the party reads: "PICTURE 3000 OF NY SEXIEST PARTY GOERS AT THE SEXIEST DAY PARTY NY HAS EVER SEEN!!! ON SUNDAY JULY 5TH BIKINI PALOOZA RETURNS WITH A BANG!!!"
New Jersey reported 258 new cases and four more deaths from COVID-19 on Monday. Bergen County has 20,719 cases of the coronavirus while the town of Alpine has 25.
Roughly 100 cases of the coronavirus have been traced to other house parties in the state last month, including an event in Jackson that drew more than 700 people, NJ.com reported.