Following a raucous party in Long Branch last Saturday that resulted in a citywide curfew, State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) said today that he will introduce a set of bills aimed at mitigating the damage of so-called “pop-up parties.”
“As we start the summer, we want to be sure that everyone can enjoy the beachfront in a safe and orderly manner and I implore visitors to behave accordingly,” Gopal said in a statement. “Anyone who acts violently or destroys property must and will be held legally accountable. Some of these videos I saw were absolutely disgraceful and the amount of garbage left on the streets in the aftermath was disgusting.”
Gopal’s set of proposals include creating stricter penalties for violent offenders at non-permitted mass gatherings and for those who threaten violence or property discussion on social media; making event organizers pay for the cost of damage to public property; and providing funding for police mobile surveillance towers.
The party in Long Branch’s Pier Village was reportedly attended by as many as 5,000 people, most of whom arrived on train after seeing the party advertised on TikTok and other social media platforms. Police made 16 arrests, and the party largely dispersed after the 9 p.m. curfew was declared.
State Sen. Robert Singer (R-Lakewood), who represents an Ocean County district to the south of Long Branch, issued a call yesterday for a task force to address the issue before the summer beach season gets into full swing.
“We’ve got to be ahead of this, and as a shore legislator, I’m asking the governor for help now,” Singer said. “Every time we have confrontations like this, there’s a risk of people getting hurt. If we don’t take swift action, this problem will get out of hand and threaten to disrupt the vital shore economy at the worst time imaginable.”