Suffolk County police's top cop on Thursday said the department is issuing subpoenas to find whoever tried to throw an illegal party in a Brookhaven mansion that attracted hundreds during the coronavirus pandemic. Credit: Newsday / Chris Ware

The Suffolk police department is issuing subpoenas to find whoever tried to throw an illegal party in a Brookhaven mansion that attracted hundreds amid the coronavirus pandemic, the county's top cop said Thursday.

Promising "to hold somebody accountable for this party" and undertake "exhaustive steps ... to bring this person to justice," Chief of Department Stuart Cameron said "there is nothing that we can do that we are not doing to determine who did this, because this is a serious concern to us."

The party early Monday in a 5,000-square-foot home on a 10-acre property on dead-end Hawkins Lane, and rented out for the occasion, drew between 300 and 400 attendees but was broken up before it could begin, as hundreds descended on the block, Cameron said earlier this week.

On Thursday, Cameron said the homeowner has provided the name of a New Jersey resident who had apparently rented the home via Airbnb, and "it’s our effort now during the investigation to determine if that really truly is the responsible party, but we are doing subpoenas.

"I think when the public hears everything that was brought to bear to hold this person accountable, it will be a wake-up call for anybody else that thinks they can do something like this in Suffolk County and get away with it," Cameron said.

He has said that whoever threw the party could be criminally prosecuted, potentially with a nuisance charge and for violating the public health law. There could also be civil fines up to $15,000.

Airbnb has banned the renter and told the person Thursday that the company would "pursue legal claims and damages," including for breaking company rules, nuisance, and having booked the home "under false pretenses," outside spokesman Charles Kretchmer Lutvak wrote in an email.

Under state rules, indoor gatherings in residences are capped at 10.

Since the pandemic ramped up in the spring, and the state banned most gatherings, police departments across the metropolitan area have targeted parties held in violation of pandemic restrictions in place to halt the spread of the deadly coronavirus. In September, Nassau police broke up a giant "pop-up" house party in East Meadow publicized as being at a "secret location." In October, the Suffolk police broke up a party with 200 to 300 people in Farmingville, following multiple complaints to 911.

Before the Brookhaven party could begin, Suffolk police responded to the block following several 911 calls of numerous cars amassing in the neighborhood.

"Let me just say this: We are determined to completely understand what happened here and who was behind this, because we do have a concern that there could be others who attempt to skirt COVID rules by renting homes here in Suffolk County," said County Executive Steve Bellone Thursday at a new conference with Cameron where Bellone said the pandemic was reaching levels unseen since the spring.

Judi Bird, who lives across the street from the mansion, slept through the fracas, but said the homeowner has told neighbors to contact him if his renters get out of hand.

"He has cameras installed in the house so that it can be monitored in terms of how many people are there," she said. "Since this epidemic began, he felt that he had to monitor the number of people who are staying there."

Small gatherings among family and friends, where people tend to let their guard down, have the highest transmission rate of the virus, Bellone said.

At a recent 21st birthday party, he said, nine of the 10 people in attendance later tested positive for the virus.

"This was within the guidelines, within the limits," he said, "but this is exactly the kind of event where we have been seeing the spread and where we have been sounding the alarm."

Sign up to get COVID-19 text alerts.

Trump trial continues … Stony Brook protesters arraigned … Summer attractions Credit: Newsday

Updated 45 minutes ago Rex Heuermann's house searched ... Trump trial continues ... Stony Brook protesters arraigned ... School budget preview

Trump trial continues … Stony Brook protesters arraigned … Summer attractions Credit: Newsday

Updated 45 minutes ago Rex Heuermann's house searched ... Trump trial continues ... Stony Brook protesters arraigned ... School budget preview

Latest videos

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME