LONG BRANCH, NJ – Police in riot gear swarmed the area of Pier Village in Long Branch after thousands of mostly inner-city and African American young adults descended upon the city for an internet advertised popup party.
The combination of 90 degree heat, alcohol and recklessness eventually led the party to get out of hand, prompting a major police response that included convoys of New Jersey State Police vehicles, out-of-town police response and officers in riot gear.
In the Pier Village section, police in riot gear lined up to clear the crowd.
According to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, “A social media flyer calling for a ‘pop-up party’ on Saturday resulted in thousands of people converging in Long Branch, creating a public safety emergency that resulted in a 9 p.m. curfew imposed by the city.”
Advertised as a beach linkup
A large-scale gathering encouraged by a flyer posted on social media caused thousands of people to arrive in the town of Long Branch, specifically, areas in and around Pier Village. The majority of those people arrived by train. At certain points the crowd was estimated to be several thousand people. A public safety emergency ensued as a result of multiple fights breaking out throughout parts of the city involving the partygoers.
Law enforcement officials from the Long Branch Police Department, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Emergency Response Team (MOCERT), Monmouth and Middlesex Rapid Deployment Forces (RDF), Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, New Jersey State Police, Department of Corrections and NJ Transit Police, all responded to the area. One flash bang and the deployment of smoke was used by Department of Corrections officers assisting in limited situations in response to fights taking place and bottles and rocks being thrown where the crowd would not disperse. The vast majority of those present left peacefully after the announcement of the curfew.
Some witnesses claim the crowd was out of control, but others contend that didn’t happen until the large police force showed up.
The Monmouth County Prosecutor’s office said that as of 11:30 p.m. last night after the incident concluded, there were 5 adults and 4 juvenile arrests stemming from the fights that took place. One police vehicle was vandalized, but there were no significant injuries or property damage reported at this time.