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Police Break Up 'Potential Superspreader Event' in NY

The property had been rented via Airbnb
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2020 5:33 PM CST

(Newser) – A potential superspreader event was averted this week when police dispersed hundreds of people from a party held at a "castle-like mansion" on Long Island, NY, authorities say. The New York Times reports that despite statewide restrictions limiting private gatherings to 10 people, up to 400 arrived Monday night at the 5,000-square-foot home. "We were able to break this party up. Quite a lot of people were still in their cars, so we reduced their opportunity to expose themselves to each other," said Suffolk County Police Chief Stuart Cameron, per Newsday. "I think we kind of averted a real potential superspreader event." Neighbors tipped off police after noticing a surge in traffic and a large number of parked cars in the typically quiet residential area.

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One call to police came from the home's owner—identified by the Times as Matthew Demar, "a one-time rapper who once hoped to be New York City's nightlife mayor"—who had rented out the house through Airbnb. Demar saw that capacity limits were not being observed via cameras on the property, per NBC News. Cameron said that authorities were still trying to identify the renter and party organizer, who they believe is from New Jersey. "We will be holding accountable the people who did hold this party, who rented the home," he said. Authorities did not plan to charge party attendees or Demar, who was said to be cooperative. The castle-like home has been featured in magazine, TV, and music video shoots and appeared on Animal Planet's It's Me or the Dog. (Read more COVID-19 stories.)

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