Pop-up party rumors swirl that this Jersey Shore town could be next, police say
ASBURY PARK — Police at a popular beach town on the Jersey Shore are investigating whether their community is the target of another pop-up party similar to last weekend's chaos in Long Branch.
The Asbury Park police said on social media that it is still working to determine how credible the details of the posts are. Police added that the posts are advertising a party on Sunday, but did not specify where or when.
The department added that it is 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 events," police said.
Police did not immediately respond Sunday morning to a request for an update on the investigation.
Fears of pop-up parties at the Jersey Shore have resurfaced after 5,000 people showed up at Long Branch on Saturday, May 21. Authorities said most party-goers took the train to get there.
Asbury Park and Long Branch are both in Monmouth County. NJ Transit train rides between the two Shore towns take less than 15 minutes.
In response, the city implemented a curfew and called for help from neighboring law enforcement.
Police in tactical gear responded to disperse the crowd using smoke and a flash-bang. 15 people were arrested, according to the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office.
Posts on social media have indicated another pop-up party at Long Branch is planned for June 19. A flyer for the event promoted dancing, music, and a $1,000 "twerk contest."
Local officials and state lawmakers have said they are working to crack down on similar future events.
Public Safety Director Domingos Saldida said the goal was to create a plan to address overwhelming crowds that other communities could implement. Saldida added that social media has made it easier for groups of "out-of-towners" 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 handle," Saldida said.
Long Branch Mayor John Pallone said he was considering taking legal action against the social media platforms used to promote the parties. It's not clear what exactly that would entail.
"Our city is not going to be a place for those that will disrespect our city, public spaces, streets of businesses with acts of violence, drinking or smoking," Pallone said.
Senator Vin Gopal, D-Monmouth, has said he will introduce a bill to make revelers responsible for the wreckage they leave behind. Gopal, a Long Branch resident, said the legislation would hold parents responsible for the actions of minors.
"Some of these videos I saw were absolutely disgraceful and the amount of garbage left on the streets in the aftermath was disgusting," Gopal said.
Rick Rickman is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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