UPDATE: Ewing Police Break Up “Corona Party” Violating Executive Order 107

March 28, 2020

Update from earlier story:

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On March 27, 2020, at 11:44 pm. Ewing Police Dispatched received and anonymous call about a party. Units responded to the 300 block of Concord Avenue where they found a large gathering inside of an apartment.

Officers dispersed over forty attendees that were attending a gathering for what the renter of the apartment called a “Corona Party”. Officers immediately advised the renter, Wade E. Jackson, 47, of Ewing that he was in violation of Governor Murphy’s Executive Order and Jackson ended the party.

Jackson was issued summonses for Obstructing Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function (2C:29-1a) and a Violation of Emergency and Temporary Acts (App.A.:9-49A).

As a reminder, Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107, paragraph 5 states, “Gatherings of individuals, such as parties, celebrations, or other social events, are cancelled, unless otherwise authorized by any part of this Order. The State Director of Emergency Management, who is Superintendent of the State Police, Shall have the discretion to make clarifications and issue orders related to this provision.”

From the Mercer County Prosecutor:

Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo J. Onofri and Ewing Police Chief John P. Stemler III reported today that a 54-year-old Ewing Township man was issued two disorderly persons citations for hosting a party in his apartment Friday evening.

Ewing police were called to an apartment on Concord Avenue at approximately 1 a.m. Saturday morning, March 28, on a noise violation.  Upon entry, they observed 47 people having a party that included a DJ with speakers, alcohol and the smell of marijuana.   Police broke up the party and released everyone except for the tenant, who was issued disorderly persons citations for obstruction and violating an executive order.  Police noted that the apartment was 550 square feet with one bedroom and one bathroom.  Almost all of the people at the party were squeezed together inside, with a handful outside of the residence.

Prosecutor Onofri praised the response of the officers and the decision to disperse the partygoers rather than charge everyone in attendance.  “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,” he said.

But the prosecutor also gave a stern reminder to the public to heed the Governor’s executive orders.  “These are mandates, not suggestions.  Mercer County and the entire state of New Jersey will not tolerate such irresponsible, criminal behavior, and violators will be prosecuted.  Not only are these actions illegal, but in a time where such reckless conduct could endanger family, loved ones, first responders and the community at large, they are also unethical.”