LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Just hours after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned that water and power could be shut off to homes that throw large parties in violation of coronavirus health and safety orders, police responded to a large wedding at a mansion in the affluent Holmby Hills neighborhood late Wednesday night.
At around 11:50 p.m., Los Angeles police received noise complaints from neighbors regarding a wedding at a mansion in the 10300 block of Wyton Drive, close to the Playboy Mansion.
“Social distancing, washing hands, temperatures, masks, elderly separated, everything was according to standard,” a guest at the wedding told CBSLA.
The wedding had been postponed a few times before being held Wednesday, CBSLA was told.
After police responded, the event allegedly dispersed peacefully.
Early Tuesday morning, a woman was killed and two others were wounded when gunfire erupted at a large mansion party in Beverly Crest. Police had also been called to that party several hours before the shooting due to noise complaints and crowd issues.
Garcetti announced Wednesday that, beginning Friday, he is authorizing the L.A. Department of Water and Power to shut off utility service to properties where large parties and gatherings are held.
“These large house parties have essentially become night clubs in the hills,” Garcetti said in a news conference. “This enforcement is not focused on small and ordinary gatherings in people’s homes. These are focused on people determined to break the rules.”
But prominent L.A. defense attorney Mark Geragos said the city should expect a fight if they move to shut off utilities at party houses.
“Remember, that’s a public utility, and that means that it serves the public,” he said. “It’s not supposed to be used by the executive to punish people.”
Though Geragos did concede that the city has to be able to take action against those who repeatedly violate health orders and city ordinances.
L.A. City Councilmember David Ryu also introduced a motion Wednesday to increase penalties for property owners who hold large house parties.
“And this is irresponsible and is bordering on deadly,” he said about the large events. “With this pandemic and with all of the nightclubs and bars being shut down, these party houses have come up with a vengeance.”
Ryu’s motion looks at possibly revoking permits and certificates of occupancy so the home is no longer livable.