Around midnight on Sunday, December 27, police arrested two women Denisse Tinizaray and Katherine Tinizaray, for running an illegal bar in Newark, New Jersey after hundreds of people were found inside despite coronavirus restrictions.
28-year-old Katherine Tinizaray and her 26-year-old Denisse Tinizaray were arrested after police discovered more than 200 people partying in the warehouse, which had been converted into a bar at 6 Libella Court in Newark.
Patrons of the illegal venue were eating food, drinking alcohol, and gambling illegally.
Katherine and Denisse Tinizaray — who are both from Newark — were arrested and charged with maintaining an illegal establishment and illegally selling alcohol.
They also did not possess any paperwork to indicate they were licensed to sell alcohol at the premises.
In a statement from Newark’s public safety director Anthony Ambrose, it said that Newark Police Vice Crimes Task Force detectives responded on Sunday to a “large party” and subsequently arrested the two women.
Under the current coronavirus rules in New Jersey, gatherings indoors must be kept to a limit of ten people.
Those indoors must wear face coverings and maintain a 6 feet distance. It is unknown if anyone was wearing face masks in the illegal bar on Sunday.
Bars and restaurants which serve food indoors are also required to close at 10 p.m. each day.
On Monday, during the regular coronavirus briefing, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy described the gathering as “incredibly irresponsible” while the pandemic is still ongoing.
The incident is the second of its kind in New Jersey this month alone. Earlier in December, police found 45 people partying in a house in New Jersey where they were buying beer for $5 each from a resident who was selling it.
This week, Governor Murphy has urged residents to keep the New Year’s Eve celebrations for welcoming 2021 small. He asked people to enjoy the year-end holidays with those within their immediate household. He reminded people that there is a 10-person indoor limit on gatherings.
The first-term Democrat had this to say: “We have a lot to look forward to in the New Year, but it will begin with staying vigilant against COVID-19.”
There have been more than 450,000 reported cases of coronavirus in New Jersey. Cases are rising around the country and politicians like President-elect Joe Biden are talking about a “dark winter” and urging Americans to wear a mask, wash hands, and practice safe distancing.
It is not clear if the messaging from the next administration will be more efficient.