New York authorities confirmed on Tuesday they broke up a Long Island house party that amassed hundreds of people early Monday morning.
Around 300 to 400 people gathered on Monday morning at a 5,000-square-foot home on a 10-acre property in Brookhaven, said Suffolk County Police Chief of Department Stuart Cameron, according to News 12 Long Island.
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in a COVID-19 briefing Tuesday that the mansion had been rented on Airbnb to have the large party. Authorities received multiple 911 calls, including one from the homeowner, who was not aware of how the guests intended to use the property, Bellone said. (RELATED: ‘I’m Weak, But I Feel Good’: Former New York Senator Hospitalized With COVID-19)
“We have seen this before and we have responded before, but this case comes with a bit of a different wrinkle to it,” he said.
The unidentified homeowner became aware of the situation through cameras they installed on the property, according to Bellone.
“I think it’s very important that people understand and the message is clear that we’re not going to allow people to skirt the COVID-19 public health rules by simply renting a home and thinking that you’re going to be able to get away with that,” he added. “That’s not going to happen.”
New York has a 10 person limit on indoor and outdoor gatherings, according to the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Multiple sheriffs in upstate New York said they wouldn’t be enforcing this rule for Thanksgiving, stating they did not want to interfere with tradition and did not have the resources to monitor every home, the New York Times said in a report.
This is not the first time the county has faced people trying to bypass COVID-19 guidelines. A drive-in concert headlined by the Chainsmokers held in the Hamptons this past July came under stark criticism for drawing a crowd of a couple thousand, with little to no social distancing measures in place.
A Sweet 16 party on Sept. 30 at the Miller Inn in Long Island that had 81 guests was referred to by Bellone as a “superspreader event” as it led to 37 positive cases, and 270 people placed under quarantine, according to a COVID-19 briefing held on Oct. 13. The inn received a $10,00 fine for violations of New York State Executive Orders and of the Public Health Law, and a $2,000 fine based on violations of the Suffolk County Sanitary Code.
Bellone said officials believe most of the attendees of the recent “high-end” event were in their 30s or 40s, and authorities found luxury vehicles or sports cars parked on the property, the New York Times reported.
As of Wednesday morning, a Suffolk County police spokeswoman said charges had not been filed against those involved, according to the outlet.