LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Mayor Eric Garcetti authorized the Department of Water and Power to cut utilities to a house in Cahuenga Pass that hosted large gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic despite multiple warnings from the city.
“COVID-19 has taken a devastating toll on our city and country, yet the power to stop the spread of this virus and save lives rests in our hands by wearing masks, washing our hands, keeping our distance and avoiding large gatherings,” Garcetti said.
“The owner and residents of this home have failed to follow our public health orders and ignored multiple warnings to stop hosting large parties. So today, the city disconnected utilities to this house.”
On August 4, 2020, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health issued a public statement in regard to large house parties, declaring that “the highest-risk settings are large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and where face coverings are not worn. The consequences of these large parties ripple throughout our entire community because the virus can quickly and easily spread.”
The following day, Garcetti had issued a public order authorizing the L.A. Department of Water and Power to shut off utilities at homes which host large gatherings, parties or events.
On Aug. 24, Garcetti’s office said a house in the Cahuenga Pass area was used to host a large gathering in violation of the order.
The Los Angeles Police Department posted warnings on the property that violations of the order are subject to civil and criminal penalties and that any future violation of the order could result in a referral to the mayor’s office for consideration of disconnecting utility service.
On Sunday, the house was again allegedly used to host a large gathering, and Garcetti authorized the DWP to cut the utilities.
“Parties can spread the coronavirus, and any decisions to organize, host, or attend one can mean the difference between life and death,” Garcetti said. “No matter how young you may be, your choices threaten your health. If you’re thinking about joining a party this Labor Day Weekend, cancel those plans.”
It was not immediately clear whether any COVID-19 cases were traced back to the home.
The house is the second known party home to have utilities cut after hosting “egregious” large gatherings.
On Aug. 8, TikTok personalities Bryce Hall, 21, and Blake Gray, 19, threw a large party at the home, which brought out the LAPD. However, despite being cited, on Aug. 14, they threw a second party for Hall’s 21st birthday which was attended by several hundred people, Feuer said. Officers were called to home on reports of gunfire, although they found no evidence that a weapon had been fired.
Criminal charges were filed last week against Hall and Gray, along with two other homeowners who also received multiple citations for throwing parties, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said.
Feuer identified them as Jianwei Bai, owner of a home on Outpost Drive, and David Marvisi, owner of a home on Sunset View Drive.
All four men face misdemeanor charges for violating the Safer L.A. Health Order and the Party House Ordinance. If convicted as charged, each faces a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail and $2,000 in fines.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)