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Hundreds of revelers desperate for a taste of New Year’s Eve normalcy were busted overnight for attending illegal parties in violation of COVID-19 restrictions, the New York City sheriff said Friday.
While Times Square was a ghost town, parties were thumping from Queens to Manhattan, including a Maspeth karaoke bash that hosted over 300 maskless partiers, Sheriff Joseph Fucito said.
NEW YEAR'S EVE IN TIMES SQUARE RINGS IN 2021 WITHOUT THE PARTY CROWD
At 2 a.m. on New Year’s Day, deputies responded to the Maspeth Bar Lounge on 58th Street and watched as more than 25 people slipped into a side emergency exit that was locked from the outside, Fucito said.
About 15 minutes later, deputies burst in and found more than 300 people crowded together "consuming alcohol, singing karaoke and dancing" without face coverings, the sheriff said.
The bar owner, Man Phan, 37, and with his wife, He Bin Wang, 37, were charged with violation of an executive order, violation of an emergency measure and for failing to protect health and safety. Phan was also charged with running an unlicensed bottle club, unlawfully warehousing alcohol and for obstructing an egress and will face a $15,000 fine.
Guowei Lin, 44, the shindig’s DJ, also faced charges and a $1,000 fine, along with Fang Zou, a 35-year-old employee, Fucito said.
In Brooklyn, deputies received "numerous" 311 complaints about a large, loud gathering with no social distancing at Stars Hall in Sunset Park.
When officers arrived just before midnight, they found about 80 people dancing their 2020 blues away and smoking hookahs, Fucito said.
The party’s organizer, Al Zabidi, was issued two appearance tickets for violating an emergency measure and an executive order and faces a $15,000 fine.
In Manhattan, sheriff’s officers found another illegal party around 1 a.m. Friday at a Prince Street loft event space, Fucito said.
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On the sixth floor, deputies found 145 people "dancing, drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes" while not wearing masks or social distancing, Fucito said.
Organizers of the party were given a $1,000 fine. The promoter will have to pay $15,000.
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