LONG BRANCH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Four people were arrested in Monmouth County after a beach party got out of control over the weekend.
CBS2’s Meg Baker has details on how the mass gathering was coordinated on social media.READ MORE: NYPD: 2 Gunman Wanted After 10 Shot Outside Queens Laundromat
Videos from Long Branch Saturday show people flooding the streets of Pier Village, running back and forth, dancing, climbing on barriers, jumping on cars. Witnesses said some were fighting.
“There was literally, like, 500 people here. It was crazy,” said Kathryn Sita.
That number grew to more than 1,000. It started out with a social media invite for a beach party, calling on people to come in by train or car. Police from neighboring towns and the Monmouth County sheriff was called in to assist.
“I think there’s misconception that that means open containers on the beach and smoking weed on the beach, and certainly our new piece of New Jersey state legislation would lead people to believe that underage drinking and underage pot smoking is OK on our Jersey Shore. It is not,” said Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden.
Kayla Casale, the senior manage of McLoone’s, said the restaurant had to lock its doors and cancel the rest of the evening’s reservations. No one could get into Pier Village, and no one could get out.
“At one point, when the mob started, they we’re jumping over the railings, and we don’t have our own security, unfortunately, so managers were trying to corral it. Just got a little out of control,” Casale said.
Managers of the Robinson ale house said patrons were so nervous they had to be escorted out the back door.READ MORE: COVID In New York: Mask Mandates Not Being Re-Imposed Just Yet As Concern Grows Over Delta Variant
Sheriff Golden said law enforcement agencies are constantly monitoring social media for flash mob-type events.
“We are ready to respond to such things such as flash mobs. You can see that within an hour all law enforcement was on scene resources to deal with it. Hope not to have to,” Golden said.
There are rumors that organizers may try something similar in July.
“We’re hoping it will be more contained next time, if there is a next time,” Casale said.
“The expectation here is that our Jersey Shore is family oriented, and that’s the way we want to keep it,” Golden said.
The majority of businesses wouldn’t speak to Baker on camera, fearing they could be a target if it happens again.
Four people were charged with disorderly persons offenses.MORE NEWS: NYPD: 3 Shot In Washington Heights, No Arrests
CBS2’s Meg Baker contributed to this report, which originally appeared on June 21, 2021.