‘Our town was treated like an absolute toilet’: Large crowd gathers unannounced on Point Pleasant Beach boardwalk

A large gathering Tuesday night brought a huge crowed to Point Pleasant Beach, and overwhelmed police officers, just hours after Gov. Phil Murphy lifted the stay-at-home orders. Today, Mayor Paul Kanitra is responding to the crowds.

News 12 Staff

Jun 10, 2020, 2:53 PM

Updated 1,414 days ago

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A large gathering Tuesday night brought a huge crowed to Point Pleasant Beach, and overwhelmed police officers, just hours after Gov. Phil Murphy lifted the stay-at-home orders. Today, Mayor Paul Kanitra is responding to the crowds.
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After what Mayor Kanitra saw take place last night, he made it clear -- disrespectful behavior is not welcome and will not be tolerated in Point Pleasant Beach. 
An unexpected influx of people wanting to get outside and enjoy the weather arrived by the hundreds in Point Pleasant Beach, just as the lifeguards and badge checkers were calling it a day, catching the town off guard.
“The chief and the individuals under his command kept a volatile situation from turning into something more, and everyone needs to recognize that,” says Mayor Kanitra.

For weeks, the town had some of the toughest restrictions to limit social gatherings. Parking rules were relaxed last Friday and Jenkinson’s beaches and boardwalks had opened a few days before.
But the town is still short several dozen class one and two police officers. Officials quickly called in more resources as the crowd numbers grew. Police from Brick Township, Mantoloking, and even a couple of officers from the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office were on hand.
Police responded to numerous complaints of drinking and smoking weed in public and other nuisances.
“Our town was treated like an absolute toilet yesterday,” says Mayor Kanitra. “While it appears to be an isolated incident, if we don't want to be a spring break type destination, and we want to keep young idiots from scaring away respectful families, things need to change right now and that's exactly what's going to happen.” 
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Volunteers, such as Leila Jabbar, combed the beaches this morning picking up leftover trash. 

“Everything from baby diapers to liquor bottles to food garbage,” says Jabbar. “A little bit of everything.”

It is believed the gathering was announced on Twitter. News 12 spoke with a few kids who said they were from Englewood and simply wanted to get outside and come to the beach, especially with Gov. Murphy lifting the stay-at-home orders just hours earlier.
“My message to anyone who comes to our town in this day forward is a very simple one, 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,” says Mayor Kanitra.
Thirty additional officers are expected to join the Point Pleasant Beach force by the end of the month. 


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