Jersey Shore town mayor unleashes on social media about more planned potential ‘pop-up’ parties
Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Paul Kanitra took to social media to slam more potential “pop-up” parties planned in the coming weeks.
In a nine-minute video posted by Kanitra, he goes after the state and attorney general for what he says is a lack of enforcement surrounding those who plan the events.
“Our residents will freak out,” says Kanitra. “Families will get scared away from the beaches that day. Businesses will proactively close. All because of a few idiots just trying to seem cooler than they really are."
Scenes from Long Branch back in May are fresh in the mayor’s mind. About 5,000 teens and young adults showed up to a "pop-up" party advertised on social media. More than a dozen people were arrested, a police car was vandalized and a night of business was lost. A new flyer online says another party will happen on June 18 in Point Pleasant Beach and June 19 in Long Branch.
“It was so chaotic, it was terrifying for people who lived close up here ... and on the streets and people that were on the boardwalk and had to leave, it was horrifying,” says Mary Deanni, of Point Pleasant Beach.
Deanni remembers a similar party in Point Pleasant Beach in 2020 when hundreds of people left behind trash and upset neighbors. Kanitra says current state laws do nothing to prevent future parties.
“We are going to be enforcing every single ordinance we legally can both in advance of this party and if it actually occurs,” says Kanitra. “But that's not enough. We need state support. We need the state to actually fix their garbage laws and garbage directives so it stops idiots from being so emboldened that they can ever think of organizing crap like this without fear of prosecution.”
The mayor also asked shore residents to reach out to the attorney general and governor's offices, as well as to call for legislation to put an end to the events while they're still in the planning stages.
In response to Kanitra's comments, Gov. Phil Murphy's office issued a statement:
"The Governor’s Office wants to ensure that the safe enjoyment of the Jersey Shore is available to every family and resident of our great state, no matter where they may be coming from. The Jersey Shore is among our most treasured assets and the memories friends and families make while enjoying our beaches last a lifetime. The Administration understands that certain types of pop-up parties have raised public safety concerns. As noted by our local and county partners, the Administration is in constant communication and is coordinating with our law enforcement agencies and mayors to ensure that people gather responsibly across our state. We have the utmost faith in our law enforcement officers and know they are well-equipped to safely handle these situations. As we have in the past, the Governor’s office stands ready to provide support and resources to our localities."