TRENTON, N.J. – In a letter to New Jersey Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, eight Republican lawmakers say Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration is refusing to proactively prevent destructive mobs at local shore towns, because of the rhetoric that strategy supposedly supports. They urged the state’s top law enforcement official to reconsider the reactive response to pop-up parties ahead of rumored ones in Point Pleasant Beach and Long Branch this upcoming weekend.
“With most of the participants in these parties arriving by train and 10 NJ Transit stops at 10 different shore towns in our districts, our communities are uniquely vulnerable to the threat posed by these parties. Yet, when our mayors called upon your office to help, they were warned to watch their rhetoric and told that state resources would be available as incidents occurred,” wrote the legislators. The letter was signed by Sens. Robert Singer and James Holzapfel, Assemblymen Ned Thomson, Sean Kean, Gregory McGuckin and John Catalano, and Assemblywomen Kim Eulner and Marilyn Piperno
A Long Branch pop-up party on May 21 drew 5,000 people and resulted in more than a dozen arrests, a 9 p.m. curfew, business closures, littered streets and vandalism. In 2021, the city faced a similar situation. In 2020, Point Pleasant Beach was the host city for a pop-up party. In Belmar, pop-up car parties have threatened the safety of neighborhoods as attendees drive recklessly through local streets late at night.
Now, via social media, partygoers are being encouraged to bring their own weed and liquor to Point Pleasant Beach on June 18 and Long Branch on June 19. Boxing matches and gun violence at these events are also being promoted.
“Despite repeated incidents wherein municipalities have faced property damage, ordinance violations, violence, and been forced to pay out exorbitant amounts in overtime for law enforcement officers, your office has taken no meaningful action to put a stop to this established threat to public safety and the welfare of our communities,” the letter reads.
The legislators implored the AG to be collaborative and proactive while issuing directives that would apply repercussions to the planners, promoters and participants of the pop-up parties.