POINT PLEASANT BEACH, NJ – A large crowd of mostly African American young adults converged on the beach and boardwalk in Point Pleasant on Tuesday for an impromptu beach party that was promoted widely on social media in the hours leading up to the event. As crowds began to grow, Point Pleasant Beach officials grew cautious and concerned about the size of the event and the actions of the participants, according to a press release issued by Chief Joseph A. Michigan today. By the end of the night, the chief said the event remained orderly, there were no property damages and the crowds dispersed peacefully.
Still, the town called in police assistance from surrounding towns and the Ocean County Sherrif’s Department. Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy said a call came in regarding a shooting at Wendy’s restaurant on Route 35, but that claim was unfounded. The event was coordinated on Twitter and other social media platforms throughout the day by college students.
“First and foremost, let’s take race completely out of this discussion, I won’t let Point Pleasant Beach be anyone’s dumping ground,” Mayor Paul Kantira said. “Regardless of where they are from or what we look like, we had a bunch of disrespectful young people looking for a good time and not caring at all how they acted in the process.”
Kanitra confirmed there was no property damage, no crimes.
“Our town was treated like an absolute toilet,” Kanitra said, calling the beachgoers, “young idiots.”
I wanted to take a minute to personally address the photos and videos circulating from yesterday's beach party and our path as a town going forward. Chief Michigan will be issuing a separate statement with the particulars of the situation and the law enforcement response in the next hour.
Posted by Mayor Paul Kanitra on Wednesday, June 10, 2020
It was reported by some news agencies as a “Black Lives Matter” protest, but Mayor Paul Kanitra confirmed the event was nothing more than an organized beach party.
Residents complained about large crowds, provocative behavior, and minor disturbance complaints during the beach party. The chief estimated the crowd to be in thousands.
According to Chief Michigan, officers from the Point Pleasant Beach Police Department began to notice an influx of people coming to the beach gradually throughout the late afternoon when the beaches were closing. The crowd grew by the hour and mostly appeared to be young adults. The crowd gathered on Jenkinson’s beach in the area of Arnold Ave. These adults were observed in the masses to be engaging in unlawful activity that threatened the quality of life in the community. Due to the size of the crowds, which was estimated to be in the thousands, the Point Pleasant BeachPoliceDepartment requested mutual aid from surrounding police departments and other agencies.
Police were positioned at every entrance to the boardwalk and stood by to ensure the crowd remained orderly for the safety of the residents and visitors of Point Pleasant Beach. The crowd began to disperse around 11 pm and patrols continued to monitor the area for the safety of the community.
The police department does not condone this type of unlawful activity. We are pleased to report, that no major incidents, damage to property, or businesses resulted from the actions of this crowd. At this time, the police department is still investigating who may be responsible for organizing this beach party
“I am extremely proud of the efforts and actions of my officers and all officers who responded here to assist in maintaining order,” Michigan said. “I am sorry that the residents and visitors of this town were subjected to this behavior. This one event should not define our community. We are a family-friendly town, and we as a department are committed to keeping it that way. Going forward, I urge you to contact our department if you see anything that threatens the quality of life in our town.”
Six people were charged with minor offenses during the event:
1. Jaquay Little 28 VOA from New Brunswick was arrested on 6/9/20 for Possession of Marijuana Under SOGrams in the area of RT. 35 North and Atlantic Ave. by Officer Zukowitz.
2. Lissette Vargas 25 VOA from Hillside was arrested on 6/9/20 for Possession of Marijuana Under 50Grams and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia in the area of the 500block of Ocean Ave.by Officer DeGroot.
3. Haja Sannoh 24 VOA from New Brunswick was arrested on 6/9/20 for Driving While Intoxicated in the area of Trenton Ave. and ChicagoAve. by Officer Marchetti.
4. Quiyon Stewart 20 VOA from Newark was issued a summons for Underage Possession of Alcohol on 6/9/20 in the area of the 500block of theBoardwalk by Officer Philbin.
5. Shayla Jackson 24 VOA from Clifton was issued a summons for Drinking in Public on 6/9/20in the area of the 500 block of the Boardwalk by Officer Chehade.
6. Amanda Prophete 23 VOA from Carteret was issued a summons for Drinking in Public on 6/9/20 in the area of Arnold Ave. andOcean Ave. by Officer DeGroot.