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June 10, 2020

Point Pleasant Beach mayor slams partygoers who treated town 'like an absolute toilet'

Crowds filled beach for unannounced gathering after Gov. Murphy lifted stay-at-home order

Beaches Police
Point Pleasant Party Mayor Paul Kantira/Facebook

Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Paul Kantira says 'young idiots' were disrespectful — leaving trash, drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana in public — during an unauthorized party on Tuesday, June 9, 2020.

Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Paul Kantira expressed outrage at a large, unannounced party that took place Tuesday at the Ocean County beach, claiming its attendees treated the area "like an absolute toilet."

In a Facebook video Wednesday morning, Kantira addressed videos of the party that were circulating on social media, including a scene in which police blew whistles and drove people off the beach. He said the races of those at the party were irrelevant to what happened.

PPB Response to Unauthorized Beach Party

I wanted to take a minute to personally address the photos and videos circulating from yesterday's beach party and our path as a town going forward. Chief Michigan will be issuing a separate statement with the particulars of the situation and the law enforcement response in the next hour.

Posted by Mayor Paul Kanitra on Wednesday, June 10, 2020

"At the heart of the matter yesterday, we had a bunch of disrespectful young people looking for a good time and not caring at all about how they acted in the process," Kantira said. "That's what matters."

Kantira had acknowledged the party in a Facebook post Tuesday, noting law enforcement had been called in to disperse the crowd, which police estimated to be in the thousands. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy had lifted the state's coronavirus stay-at-home order earlier in the day, permitting outdoor gatherings of up to 100 people.

Kantira said partygoers left trash strewn across the town, drank alcohol and smoked marijuana in public, urinated in bushes and changed their clothes in neighbors' yards. Few people in attendance were wearing face masks and adhering to social distancing guidelines.

There was no property damage or crimes committed, Kantira said. 

Point Pleasant Beach Police said in separate statement Wednesday that the party grew over several hours on Jenkinson's beach near Arnold Avenue. Mutual aid was requested from neighboring police departments to assist with dispersing the crowd, which remained past 11 p.m. 

No arrests were announced, but police said they are investigating to determine who may have organized the party. 

Kantira said spontaneous events of this nature won't be tolerated in the future. 

"If we don't want to be a spring break-type destination, and we want to keep young idiots from scaring away respectful families, then things need to change right now," Kantira said. "And I'm telling you, that's exactly what's going to happen."

Starting June 20, Point Pleasant Beach will have 30 additional seasonal police officers who will issue citations to those who break beach rules, Kantira said. He urged people who see violations to call police instead of posting videos of them on social media.

"If you do not plan to treat Point Pleasant Beach and its residents respectfully, you will leave with a very expensive ticket as a souvenir," Kantira said.