Police break up 400-person party in Brookhaven

Suffolk County has seen a string of large gatherings during the pandemic

51 Hawkins Lane in Brookhaven (Photo via Google Maps)
51 Hawkins Lane in Brookhaven (Photo via Google Maps)

Police broke up a 400-person gathering at a Brookhaven mansion late Sunday night, according to the New York Times.

State guidelines currently limit the size of gatherings to 10 people to combat the spread of Covid-19. The Brookhaven party is one of the largest events in Suffolk County to violate those orders.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo enacted the 10-person limit last month, but some sheriffs around New York state said they would not enforce it. Suffolk County officials, however, said they would.

“There’s no question that an event like this is a public health issue,” said Suffolk County Police Department Chief Stuart Cameron. It took officers nearly four hours to clear out the party because of the number of people involved

The owner of the mansion, Matthew Demar, said that he rented the home out on Airbnb. Demar himself, along with neighbors, had reported the party to police. The home is currently on the market asking $950,000.

A number of large gatherings that flout social distancing rules have been held on Long Island since the pandemic began, including a 2,150-person Chainsmokers concert in the Hamptons in July. In Suffolk County, there was a string of large gatherings in Farmingville in October.

The percentage of positive Covid-19 tests (based on a seven-day average) in the county as of Dec. 2 was 4.5 percent.  [NYT] — Dennis Lynch