New Jersey governor Phil Murphy has more than 182,000 followers on Twitter, and it seems like John Maldjian probably isn't one of them. If Maldjian kept up with Murphy's tweets, then he might have noticed that the governor isn't down with the so-called 'corona parties' that have been held throughout the state.
"Can’t believe I have to say this at all, let alone for the second time. But here we are. NO CORONA PARTIES," he tweeted last Saturday. "They’re illegal, dangerous, and stupid. We will crash your party. You will pay a big fine. And we will name & shame you until EVERYONE gets this message into their heads."
Somehow, Maldjian missed both Murphy's ALL CAPS warning, and his executive order that explicitly prohibits parties, celebrations, and other social gatherings. Instead, the Rumson Police Department were called to Maldjian's house on Saturday night, after receiving a report about a 30-plus person party that was being held in a residential neighborhood.
When officers arrived, they allegedly found a group of 30 adults between the ages of 40 and 50, sitting in lawn chairs watching Maldjian and a friend play acoustic covers of Pink Floyd songs. And if it's not bad enough that you're the Guitar Guy at your own party, Maldjian was also allegedly streaming his front porch set to Facebook Live.
The two men were in the middle of the song "Wish You Were Here" when the cops pulled the plug and said that the party was over. "When we informed everyone that they must leave—in accordance with Governor Murphy's executive orders regarding these so called 'corona-parties'—we were met with well wishes of 'F-the police' and 'Welcome to Nazi Germany' from this group of '40-50 year old ADULTS,'" the Rumson Police Department wrote on its Facebook page.
The officers wrote that the department "takes no enjoyment" in wrecking anyone's party—although let's be honest: they did everyone a favor by telling a couple of fiftysomethings that nobody needed their take on classic rock. "Please use this incident as a learning experience for everyone! If we have to respond to another 'corona party' we will be using a zero tolerance approach and everyone involved will be charged with Disorderly Conduct," the department's Facebook post warned.
According to NJ.com, Maldjian was charged with reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and charges related to violating the emergency orders. "When people like the partiers in Rumson flout the orders and show disrespect and hostility to police officers, they not only put themselves and the others immediately involved in peril, they risk inciting others to engage in such irresponsible and dangerous behavior,” Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said in a statement.
“Our police officers are working courageously every day to protect us all, and we will continue to charge anyone who violates the emergency orders, which literally are a matter of life and death.”
Plus, they had to hear those dudes play Pink Floyd, which had to be its own special kind of awful.