Underground parties continue to take place during pandemic
SANTA MONICA, Calif. - As COVID-19 cases continue to surge at record levels in Los Angeles County, underground parties with hundreds of people continue to take place every weekend.
FOX 11 has been investigating these superspreader events for the past several months. This weekend, we were undercover at even more of these parties.
As coronavirus case numbers continue to rise and we face tighter restrictions, it's restaurants that are paying the price. Restaurant owners have expressed fear that the outdoor dining ban, which kicked in Wednesday night, may put them out of business for good.
However, evidence shows it's private parties and large gatherings that are fueling the spread. And so far, nothing has been able to slow it down.
On Wednesday night in Beverly Hills, just hours before the outdoor dining ban kicked in for LA County restaurants, SkyFOX was over a large gathering with dozens of people congregated together. The type of gathering health officials haven't been able to stop.
And then, there's this past weekend's underground party scene, something FOX 11 is seeing play out week after week. Masses of young people crowded into a house party like sardines drinking, dancing, not practicing social distancing, zero masks and zero concern.
Our cameras were outside a Pomona house party over the weekend as we watch hordes of young people show up after it was promoted with a social media flyer.
It's the exact same house we reported last weekend that hosted another massive party. As we reported, that party spilled over to Ontario, where the crowd crammed into an outdoor area, again, no masks or social distancing.
The partygoers scattered when gunshots rang out in front of our cameras.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: FOX 11 undercover cameras capture volleys of gunfire at massive underground party in Ontario
Fast-forward the clock and we're back in Pomona again ahead of this Thanksgiving week, watching as what appears to be underage teens arriving with racks of beer. Others walk in the street with tanks of nitrous.
While inside, the party rages on.
We saw officers with the Pomona Police Department arrive. An officer walks up to the house, talks to somebody and then walks back into his car and then drives away. He comes back for the second time, later in the night, where he could be seen speaking to a young man at the house, who was laughing, and the officer once again leaves.
A short time later, the officer is back for the third time as the party wraps up for the night. The crowd spills out into the streets as the party was never broken up by police.
Over in Van Nuys, another massive party was taking place after it had also been promoted on social media. Different location but same story: no masks, no social distancing. A scene that would make any health official wince.
But in Realto, a different story played out this weekend. The Rialto Police Department found a flyer promoting a massive house party on Instagram. Police were able to stop it before it even started by talking to the homeowners about what their daughter had planned.
"They were expecting hundreds of people at this house," said Rialto PD Cpl. Nicholas Parcher.
With these parties being promoted on Instagram, police need to get with the times and track these on social media. Rialto PD has, but others haven't.
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