Rumson police break up unruly Pink Floyd cover band party; crowd calls police ‘Nazis’

Police say that an unruly Pink Floyd cover band party had to be broken up Saturday night for violating Gov. Phil Murphy’s social distancing order that bans social gatherings.

News 12 Staff

Apr 6, 2020, 2:23 AM

Updated 1,479 days ago

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Police say that an unruly Pink Floyd cover band party had to be broken up Saturday night for violating Gov. Phil Murphy’s social distancing order that bans social gatherings.
Rumson police say that they were called to a home on Blackpoint Road near Wood Lane Saturday to find a group of about 30 adults attending an acoustic concert of a Pink Floyd cover band. Police say that the attendees were between 40 and 50 years old and that some even set up lawn chairs to listen to the music. The concert was also being broadcast on Facebook Live.
The gathering is in violation of the governor’s Executive Order 107, banning social gathering in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Police say that when they tried to disperse the crowd, the audience turned on the officers and began chanting “F the police,” and “Welcome to Nazi Germany.” Police say that while all of this was happening, the band continued to play but that eventually, the party dispersed.
“The Rumson Police Department takes no enjoyment in ruining anyone’s fun! However, we ALL have a responsibility to take this pandemic SERIOUSLY and adhere to the social distancing requirement,” police said in a statement posted on Facebook.
Homeowner John Maldjian, 54, is facing reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct charges.
Gov. Phil Murphy, the state attorney general’s office and New Jersey State Police were not taking the situation lightly.
“When people like the partiers in Rumson flout the orders, and show disrespect and hostility to police officers, they not only put themselves and the others immediately involved in peril, they risk inciting others to engage in such irresponsible and dangerous behavior. Our police officers are working courageously every day to protect us all, and we will continue to charge anyone who violates the emergency orders, which literally are a matter of life and death,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement.
Murphy and State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan addressed the incident in Monday’s coronavirus press briefing.
"If people think it's a joke and there's levity around it it's not. Because if you sat in the meetings we've sat in and discussed the reality of what's coming down in the next couple of weeks…we're doing everything that we can,” Callahan said.
Rumson police say that if they must respond to any more “corona-parties,” everyone in attendance will be charged with disorderly conduct. Charges against audience members in the Saturday incident are pending, according to police.
Maldjian's attorney tells the Asbury Park Press that Maldjian intended for the concert to only be streamed on Facebook and that he urged the audience to stay at home.


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