COVID News: 2 men charged after hosting multiple large pool parties at New Jersey home

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Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Two men charged after large pool party in Sicklerville, New Jersey
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Police say there have been at least two large parties at a Sicklerville, New Jersey home in the last several weeks.

SICKLERVILLE, New Jersey -- Police say there have been at least two large parties at a New Jersey home in the last several weeks.

Despite attempts to stop the most recent pool party on Sunday, hundreds showed up and paid a cover charge to get in at a house party in Sicklerville.

Police in Gloucester Township released video from the party, showing a crowd at a backyard pool on Prospect Court.

"I could hear the music, obviously, but not as loud as the previous party he had. It was an extreme amount of people," said neighbor Jordan Wolcott, who lives down the street.

Police say a large, for-profit party at that same home in July caught their attention.

RELATED | NJ COVID-19 cluster linked to house party, patients not cooperating

They soon heard another one was in the works, hosted by homeowner Jeffrey Davis, Jr. and promoted by Marheem Miller of Camden.

"All week we were in communication with the homeowner, requesting him not to do this, not to have the party. We warned him about the consequences. We warned him of the public health hazard," Gloucester Township Police Chief David Harkins said.

Police say about 250 people were observed at the home, without masks and not social distancing. They also say several cars were parked illegally and trash was left on the street.

According to Governor Phil Murphy's orders, outdoor gatherings are restricted to 500 people with social distancing or mask-wearing when that's not possible.

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

Indoor gatherings are capped at 25 people or 25% capacity, with an exception for weddings, funerals, memorial services, and religious and political activities, which are capped at 100 people or 25% capacity. Masks must be worn at all times.

Citations were issued to the homeowner, including noise and zoning violations, littering and violating the governor's executive orders. The party promoter also faces charges for violating executive orders.

Neighbors say they would like the parties to stop.

"With the COVID, everybody has to be careful, like me. I'm taking care of my mother who has cancer," said Marlenna, whose family lives nearby the party home.

Police say the township was hit hard by COVID-19, and gatherings like this are not helping.

"We've had 57 deaths. Those are real numbers to us. We had 10 police officers at one time infected with COVID-19," Harkins said.

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