'Pop-up party' creates public safety emergency in Monmouth County; 15 arrested
Thousands of people arrived in Long Branch for a "pop-up party" on Saturday night, which had been advertised on social media billed as a "beach link up."
Party goers packed the boardwalk and the surrounding area of Pier Village for the party they saw advertised. The crowd got big, fights broke out and police had to break it up and issue a curfew.
A video from the scene obtained by News 12 New Jersey shows a flash bang launched into the crowd. There is also footage of police arresting a man and taking him away.
The Monmouth County Sheriff's Office tweeted, "Please adhere to the curfew imposed in the City of Long Branch tonight beginning at 9pm due to a large-scale event. All should clear the streets by 9pm and nonresidents need to leave the area."
A day after the pop-up party, it was business as usual on the boardwalk on Sunday with the normal-sized crowds for a hot weekend at the beach.
However, one resident told News 12 New Jersey she now feels unsafe in a place she calls home, while younger residents said beach parties are the only option for the under 21 crowd.
"The city used to be quiet and safe for everybody, and very good here to come to the beach with the kids, and now these things are going on because of TikTok parties. It's like crazy," said Lisangela Vieira, of Long Branch.
"In Jersey, it's very strict for us to go to bars, so we can't go anywhere," said Chloe Spina, also of Long Branch. "Where do you want us to go? We can't go to a bar, we can't have house parties."
This is not the first time this has happened in Long Branch. Last summer, police shut down a similar party.
Police say most people left peacefully during Saturday's pop-up party. However, they say 15 were arrested and a police car was damaged, but no one was seriously hurt.
The curfew has since been lifted.