LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced charges Friday against TikTok stars Bryce Hall and Blake Gray as part of a COVID-19 party house crackdown.
Both Hall, 21, and Gray, 19, are charged with one misdemeanor count each of causing a public nuisance by conducting a loud and unruly conduct gathering and violating the "Safer LA" emergency declaration, according to the criminal complaint.
"Sometimes these party houses involve gatherings of hundreds of people. They're potential superspreaders of COVID-19," said Feuer as he announced the charges.
The pair is set to be arraigned Sept. 11 at the downtown Los Angeles courthouse.
According to Feuer, on August 8, officers responded to a home off Appian Way in the Hollywood Hills being rented by Hall and Gray after receiving complaints of a large party. Responding officers issued a warning and a citation under the party house order.
Both the warning and citation were posted prominently on the home. which included information stating that further violations may result in the power being shut off. Officers stayed until the guests left.
Then on August 14, officers were called to the home again after reports of shots fired where they found another party, this one for Hall's 21st birthday.
Police didn't find any evidence that shots had been fired, but officers spoke with Gray, who acknowledged he was aware of the prior citation, Feuer said.
He received a separate citation and officers stayed until guests dispersed.
An updated violation notice about party houses and a final warning of noncompliance with the city’s "Safer L.A. Order" was posted.
The city cut power to the Hollywood Hills home on August 19, two weeks after Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that he would authorize the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power to shut off utilities to homes and businesses that host "egregious" gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Feuer said that the two TikTok stars should be using their platforms and large social media followings to promote good behavior during a global health 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. "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."
It wasn't clear whether any cases of coronavirus have been linked to the parties at the home rented by the TikTok stars, the city attorney said.
Hall and Gray could not immediately be reached for comment.
Feuer also announced the filing of charges against Jianwei Bai, the owner of a home on Outpost Drive, and David Marvisi, who owns a home on Sunset View Drive.
The two homes allegedly have been the sources of numerous community complaints and both owners have received multiple citations for violating the party house ordinance. The homeowners also received a warning letter from Feuer about potential prosecution. Despite these contacts, the homes allegedly have continued generating complaints and citations.
Bai and Marvisi are also set to be arraigned next month.
Penalties can range up to a year in jail and up to $2,000 in fines, according to the City Attorney's Office.
Feuer said he hopes the announcement of the charges will make others reconsider whether to host parties, saying that "the stakes are so much higher now and that means we are going to be even more vigilant now."
He urged residents to call the Los Angeles Police Department's non-emergency number to report parties in their neighborhoods – 877-275-5273.
CNS contributed to this report.