N.J. resident criminally charged for 30+ person gathering in Salem County

PENNS GROVE, N.J. – One of the first (if not the first) people to be charged for violating Governor Phil Murphy’s “stay at home” order allegedly held a 30+ person gathering on Monday in the tiny 5,000-resident Salem County town of Penns Grove..

That’s according to a Facebook post from the small South Jersey town’s police department.

Here’s the post:

From the Chief:

The Penns Grove Police Department responded to Lanning Avenue for a Noise complaint. Upon arrival it was deemed a GATHERING of 30 Plus adults. This is in direct violation of the Governor’s executive orders and will not be tolerated. The tenant was charged with a disorderly persons offense. We have previously utilized the Penns Grove Police Department’s Facebook page to inform the public of the Governor’s orders. I ask the citizens to please adhere to the Governor’s executive orders as this is the only way we will be able to stop the spread of the very dangerous virus. Again thank you for your cooperation and patience during these very uncertain times.

Thank You,
Chief Patrick Riley Sr.

Meanwhile, two separate homeowners were arrested in Lakewood over the weekend in separate incidents for allegedly hosting large gatherings. One of the events was a “pop up wedding” attended by approximately 50 individuals. 

2C:33-2 (the state’s disorderly conduct statute) covers conduct including creating “a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.”

Penalties include up to 30 days in county jail and a potential maximum fine of $500.