Middle-aged Crowd Break COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Order to Watch Pink Floyd Cover Band, Chant 'F*** the Police' as Officers Arrive

A New Jersey man has been charged after hosting a concert outside his home in violation of the state's ban on social gatherings amid the coronavirus outbreak.

John Maldjian, 54, of Rumson, has been charged with reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and two counts of charges relating to violating the emergency orders following an incident on Saturday, April 4.

Rumson Police received a call about a group of 30 adults aged around 40 to 50 years old who were gathering on the front lawn of a house on Blackpoint Road and watching a live performance.

When police arrived at the scene, they found the crowd watching Maldjian and one other playing live acoustic versions of Pink Floyd songs, complete with microphones and amplifiers for their guitars. Some of the people attending the concert had even brought lawn chairs to watch the show.

The concert was held in defiance of an Executive Order signed by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy which said all parties, celebrations, or other social events, must be canceled to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

When police tried to tell everyone they must leave, the group of middle aged attendees began shouting "f*** the police" and "welcome to Nazi Germany."

The band continued to play even while officers were attempting to disperse the crowd. Police said officers eventually forced the concert to end during a rendition of Pink Floyd's 1975 song "Wish You Were Here."

"Sadly I'm sure we all 'wish we could be here', and the Rumson Police Department takes no enjoyment in ruining anyone's fun! However we all have a responsibility to take this pandemic seriously and adhere to the social distancing requirement," a Rumson Police spokesperson said in a statement. "We also need to be a good role model for our children and be kind and understanding during these times."

Rumson Police Chief Scott Paterson said further charges are pending against the other people who attended the concert outside Maldjian's home. The performance was also broadcast live on Facebook.

The gathering is one of a number of so-called "coronavirus parties" in which people purposely ignore social distancing guidelines and bans of mass gatherings amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

"When people like the partiers in Rumson flout the orders and show disrespect and hostility to police officers, they not only put themselves and the others immediately involved in peril, they risk inciting others to engage in such irresponsible and dangerous behavior," New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said in a statement.

"Our police officers are working courageously every day to protect us all, and we will continue to charge anyone who violates the emergency orders, which literally are a matter of life and death."

Health experts hit out at those who are still organizing and attending mass gatherings in defiance of the rules after at least one person in Kentucky tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a coronavirus party.

"This is not a time to be stupid. This is a time to take personal responsibility, for yourself, your family and your country," Dr. Michael Head, Senior Research Fellow in Global Health, at the University of Southampton in South England, previously told Newsweek.

There are more than 337,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S., with 9,647 deaths according to Johns Hopkins University. A total of 17,582 people have managed to recover from the virus.

(File photo) Roger Waters performs on stage at The SSE Hydro on June 29, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland. A New Jersey man has been charged after hosting a Pink Floyd cover band concert outside his home which was attended by dozens of people. Roberto Ricciuti/Redferns/Getty

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19

  • CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
  • Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
  • Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
  • Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
  • If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
  • Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask and glove usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.
  • Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
  • The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.

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