FARMINGVILLE, NY (OnSachem.com / OnTownMedia.com) — Suffolk County slapped a big fine against a Farmingville resident for allegedly hosting a party too large during the pandemic. Anywhere from 200 to 300 guests showed up, which officials said violated New York State’s Executive Orders intended to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
On Wednesday, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone announced a $2,500 fine against the Saturday evening party’s host at 6 Somers Court. The newly announced fine is on top of the charges already pressed against resident Kim Catalanotto, 47. She is charged with Criminal Nuisance 2nd Degree for allegedly hosting a gathering larger than allowed, according to the Suffolk County Police Department. She is also charged under the Suffolk County Social Host Law for the alleged underage drinking, police added.
“This is the first resident to be issued a fine in Suffolk County for violating the Governor’s Executive Orders,” Bellone said. “This type of blatant disregard for the wellbeing of others is not only extremely disappointed, it will not be tolerated. If you violate the rules, you’ll be caught and held responsible.”
As OnSachem News reported on Monday, Somers Court in Farmingville turned into a lively party on Saturday with up to 300 people in attendance, according to police. But, police said there were several alleged problems – underage drinking, assault of a 62-year-old man, and hosting a gathering with more people than allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sixth Precinct officers based in Selden responded at approximately 8:40 p.m. after receiving what police said were “multiple 911 calls regarding a large party.”
Once officers arrived, they found a party with 200 to 300 people. Under current New York State COVID-19 safety restrictions, gatherings in phase four regions like Suffolk County are limited to 50 or fewer people. Police also learned there was alleged underage drinking at the party.
“This type of blatant disregard for the wellbeing of others is not only extremely disappointed, it will not be tolerated," Bellone said. "If you violate the rules, you'll be caught and held responsible.”
During the party, a 62-year-old man who lives on Somers Court was struck in the face by a male as the group dispersed, according to police. The man was treated for minor injuries at Stony Brook University Hospital. Sixth Precinct Crime Section officers are investigating the assault.
Also on Wednesday, Bellone announced a $15,000 fine against North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue for hosting a wedding on Oct. 17 with 91 guests, above the limit allowed. A third of the guests contracted COVID-19.
Bellone also spoke on Wednesday about an adult birthday party at a Bellport home, also on Oct. 17. Fifty guests attended, which is the state's maximum allowed. After the party, 26 of the guests tested positive for COVID-19.
"While the party did not violate social gathering guidelines, the event showcases how quickly the virus can spread if proper social distancing and mask protocols are not followed," Bellone said.
Back to the Farmingville party from this past weekend, Bellone said it is too soon to know if positive COVID-19 cases will be an outcome. If positive cases emerge, Bellone said the county will “launch a comprehensive case and contact tracing operation.”
As Halloween weekend approaches, Bellone issued a warning to be smart and safe to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
A month ago, a Sweet 16 party with allegedly 81 guests at Miller Place Inn became what Bellone called a ‘super-spreader’ event, which led to a COVID-19 outbreak and the two-week closure of Sachem High School North in Lake Ronkonkoma. The county issued a $12,000 fine against Miller Place Inn.