Two parties that began late Friday and stretched into Saturday morning were broken up by deputies from the New York City Sheriff's Office for violating the city and state's COVID-19 restrictions.
Deputies learned about both parties -- one occurring in Brooklyn and the other in Manhattan -- on Friday, according to New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito. Apparently the events were promoted on social media.
At Rogue Space, an art studio hub at West 26th Street in Chelsea, 205 people were found inside a neon-lit hallway at around 1 a.m. on Saturday "not social distancing, not wearing proper face coverings, and not adhering to the Mayoral and Gubernatorial COVID-19 Emergency Executive orders," according to Fucito. This happened after deputies spotted organizers with BOOM VIP Events unloading tables, chairs, and velvet rope for crowd control.
Inside, deputies also saw partygoers drinking alcohol and smoking hookah.
Four people -- promoter Ahmad McLure, DJ Theodore Pamphile, and employees Taurean Deroche and Jaydee Contreras -- were issued summonses for their involving in organizing the party, including for violating the executive order. McLure was also charged with operating an unlicensed bottle club, unlicensed warehousing of alcohol, and working as a bouncer without a license.
An email to the Boom VIP Events was not immediately returned.
Several hours later, deputies were tipped off about a party at Hearts of Love on Liberty Avenue in Brooklyn. There, they broke up a party attended by 180 people with some found "consuming alcohol and smoking hookah," according to Fucito. Most were also partying it up maskless and not social distancing, Fucito added.
Three people -- security guard Julio Soto and employees Kevin Hunte and David Vaughn -- were given summonses for helping to facilitate the party. While Hunte, Soto, and Vaughn, were all charged with violating the executive order, Soto was hit with the most charges, including obstructing exits, running an unlicensed bottle club, and illegally storing alcohol.
The latest busts add to the series of illegal parties broken up by the Sheriff's Office, which was mandated to monitor large get-togethers during the pandemic. Last weekend, deputies raided a Bronx warehouse where 125 partygoers were seen inside smoking hookah, and the weekend before they broke up Halloween parties in Brooklyn and the Bronx.