Two TikTok celebrities based in Los Angeles have been hit with criminal charges for allegedly hosting large parties in violation of pandemic restrictions and a local party house ordinance, the city attorney said Friday.
L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer announced the misdemeanor charges during a press conference on Friday and accused Bryce Hall, 21, and Blake Gray, 19, of not only hosting large parties but also of serving as poor role models amidst a pandemic.
“With hundreds of people attending, loud music all night long and cars blocking access for emergency vehicles, party houses are really out of control nightclubs, and they’ve hijacked the quality of life of neighbors nearby. As if that weren’t enough, the hosts are incredibly irresponsible, with COVID-19 spreading and parties banned because of it. We’ve got to put a stop to it,” said Feuer in a statement.
“If you have a combined 19-million followers on TikTok during this health crisis, you should be modeling good behavior — not brazenly violating the law and posting videos about it, as we allege,” he added.
According to The Associated Press, Feuer admitted that he isn’t aware of any coronavirus outbreaks linked to the parties, the first of which was reportedly hosted on August 8 and the most recent of which was hosted on August 14.
The local party house ordinance, which is not specific to the coronavirus pandemic, was passed back in 2018 to reign in the rowdiness associated with massive residential parties. Feuer also announced separate charges against two home-owners for violating the ordinance.
“The problem of residential homes being used as de facto nightclubs has been growing for years. It’s not just a nuisance in otherwise quiet neighborhoods – it is a real danger,” said City Council member David Ryu back in 2018.
Earlier this month, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) authorized the city to shut off the power to the TikTok celebrity house, which he said was endangering the community with massive parties.
“Despite several warnings, this house has turned into a nightclub in the hills, hosting large gatherings in flagrant violation of our public health orders,” said the mayor, emphasizing that the move was designed to stop “parties that endanger our community.”
NEW: Just stopped by the #HollywoodHills rental home of TikTok star #BryceHall, whose power has been shut off by order of LA Mayor Eric Garcetti for throwing large parties against #COVID19 health orders. Several notices of non compliance posted at the property. No one home @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/pCrEwYkdEo
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) August 20, 2020
“It isn’t just the party house itself that’s affected,” added the L.A. city attorney in his remarks Friday. “These individuals who attend your parties could leave and spread [coronavirus] to siblings, to parents, to co-workers, to others in the public.”
“We are very much on the right track, finally, in L.A. county, in driving down the curve. These super-spreader parties cannot prevent us from making progress. Everyone’s health in our community depends on our remaining vigilant,” he said.
The penalties for the misdemeanor charge include up to one year in jail and a fine of $2,000, according to the city attorney.
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