Police arrest host after breaking up 300-person pool party in New Jersey

HOWELL, New Jersey (WABC) -- One person is facing charges for allegedly hosting a massive pool party with hundreds of people in New Jersey.

Pictures show police responding to the crowds at the home in Howell on Sunday, which likely stemmed from a digital flier posted on Instagram.

Officers on the scene said an estimated 500 people were already packing the front, back and side yards of the home when they arrived.

There was no social distancing and police say fewer than 10 percent of the attendees were wearing masks.

The party also spilled into the surrounding neighborhood for blocks, causing heavy traffic to back up in the area.

Authorities say most of the partygoers were compliant when officers arrived to break up the party. It took about two hours for police to disperse the crowd with help from eight other jurisdictions.

The party's host, 37-year-old Ronald Chatman, who apparently charged admission for the party, was taken into custody.

Chatman was cooperative when police moved in to shut the party down -- citing violations of the governor's COVID-19 executive orders. They say he admitted the size of the party even surprised him.

Roadways leading to Wilson Drive were blocked by police for some time to prevent the steady flow of vehicles attempting to attend.

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