Owners Of NYC Party Boat ‘Liberty Belle’ Arrested For Violating Social Distancing Rules
The owners and captain of a New York City riverboat were arrested Saturday night for ignoring social distancing rules after throwing a party with more than 170 attendees, according to the sheriff’s department.
Authorities were alerted of a party boat leaving Pier 36 on the Lower East Side around 8:30 p.m. Saturday night, and broke up the party around three hours later when the Liberty Belle returned to the dock. The four-story boat, which has a capacity of 600 people, is owned by Ronny Vargas and Alex Sauzo, who were arrested and given desk appearance dates for violating social distancing rules and operating a bar without a liquor license. The captain of the ship Joseph Spadaro was also arrested and given a summons for not displaying the boat’s ID number correctly.
The sheriff’s department said they were tipped off by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, who received word on the ship’s departure from the resident association at the Two Bridges Waterfront Tower.
The resident association’s Twitter account posted a picture of the boat from the apartment building soon after it departed the docks at 8:20 p.m.
So a packed Liberty Belle party boat just departed from Pier 36 on the LES waterfront with no apparent social distancing or mask requirement. Who has jurisdiction over these floating nightclubs? @galeabrewer @CM_MargaretChin @yuhline @BrianKavanaghNY @NYPD7Pct pic.twitter.com/DVWXB3XrDz
— twobridgestower (@twobridgestower) August 2, 2020
Later in the evening, the sheriff’s department tweeted that they had arrested the owners and captain of the boat.
“Deputy Sheriffs intercept the Liberty Belle at Pier 36 & arrest owners and captain for illegal party: violation of social distancing provisions of the Mayor’s and Governor’s Emergency Orders, Alcohol Beverage Control Law: unlicensed bar & bottle club & Navigation Law,” the tweet said.
8/1/2020: Deputy Sheriffs intercept the Liberty Belle at Pier 36 & arrest owners and captain for illegal party: violation of social distancing provisions of the Mayor’s and Governor’s Emergency Orders, Alcohol Beverage Control Law: unlicensed bar & bottle club & Navigation Law. pic.twitter.com/zXZheHdH9O
— NYC SHERIFF (@NYCSHERIFF) August 2, 2020