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New Jersey police break up house party with 300 guests, arrest host

Police broke up a New Jersey house party that violated state health mandates on indoor gatherings, authorities said Sunday. The host of the event was arrested.

About 300 people were at the “pop-up party” on Wilson Drive in the Ramtown district of Howell Township, which is about 65 miles northeast of Philadelphia, town police said.

The out-of-control bash was so big that township authorities needed the help of police from five neighboring towns, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office and New Jersey State Police.

“Most of the attendees are compliant,” Howell police said in a statement. “Others are hesitant and are directing their anger towards the host who charged admission.”

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy last week lowered the number of people allowed to gather inside to 25 percent of capacity, with a maximum of 25 people — down from the previous standard of 100 people maximum. This followed reports of large parties in New Jersey.

Murphy said the parties were concerning as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the country, and with the infection rate slightly increasing in the state. However, the governor said Friday that the state’s COVID-19 trends were now heading in the right direction.

The host of the Howell Township party was not immediately identified.

Even after breaking up the party, police said they had officers patrol the neighborhood, to make sure the party didn’t reignite.

“Several patrol units will remain in the area to prevent others from arriving and/or returning and to monitor surrounding streets as there’s been reports of stragglers urinating on people’s property and vehicles,” the police statement said. “A majority of those who attended are not local.”

It’s unclear if anyone else was arrested.

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