ASBURY PARK — Police in a popular Jersey Shore beach town are investigating whether their community is the target of another pop-up party similar to last weekend’s mayhem in Long Branch.
Asbury Park Police said on social networks that it is still working to determine the credibility of message details. Police said the messages advertised a party on Sunday, but did not say where or when.
The department added that it was coordinating with other law enforcement agencies for the safety of residents and visitors.
“There will be zero tolerance for any illegal acts and lewd behavior in reference to this pop-up party or any other future event,” police said.
Police did not immediately respond Sunday morning to a request for an update on the investigation.
Fears of short-lived parties on the Jersey Shore resurfaced after 5,000 people showed up in Long Branch on Saturday, May 21. Authorities said most revelers took the train to get there.
Both Asbury Park and Long Branch are in Monmouth County. NJ Transit train rides between the two coastal cities take less than 15 minutes.
In response, the city implemented a curfew and called for help from nearby law enforcement.
Police in tactical gear responded to disperse the crowd using smoke and a flash bang. 15 people have been arrested, according to the Monmouth County District Attorney’s Office.
Posts on social media have indicated that another pop-up party at Long Branch is scheduled for June 19. A flyer for the event promoted dancing, music and a $1,000 “twerking contest”.
Local officials and state lawmakers said they were working to suppress similar future events.
Public Safety Director Domingos Saldida said the goal was to create a plan to deal with overwhelming crowds that other communities could implement. Saldida added that social media has made it easier for “out of town” groups to coordinate their celebrations.
“When masses show up by NJ Transit and 5,000 people take over Pier Village, it creates a very difficult situation to manage,” Saldida said.
Long Branch Mayor John Pallone said he was considering taking legal action against social media platforms used to promote the parties. It’s unclear exactly what that would entail.
“Our city will not be a place for those who disrespect our city, public spaces, shopping streets with acts of violence, drinking or smoking,” Pallone said.
Senator Vin Gopal, D-Monmouth, said he would introduce a bill to make revelers responsible for the wreckage they leave behind. Gopal, a Long Branch resident, said the legislation would hold parents accountable for the actions of minors.
“Some of these videos I saw were absolutely disgraceful and the amount of litter left on the streets afterwards was disgusting,” Gopal said.
Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]
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