New York riverboat operators arrested after party with 170 guests
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Authorities said two New York riverboat operators were arrested after a party with more than 170 guests aboard over the weekend, for violating coronavirus restrictions.

The New York City Sheriff’s Office announced on Twitter Sunday that it intercepted the Liberty Belle on the East River and arrested the owners for throwing an “illegal party.” It said social distancing requirements were violated and the owners did not have a liquor license but were serving alcohol anyway.

Photos of the Saturday party appeared on Twitter. 


Police provided boat operators Ronny Vargas and Alex Sauzo with appearance tickets for warehousing without a permit, operating an unlicensed bottle club and bar and for prohibited acts during a local state of emergency, according to a sheriff’s office report, CNN reported

The boat captain, who was unidentified in the report, also was reportedly given a summons for not appropriately displaying the vessel identification number.  

New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito told CNN that the operators disobeyed an order preventing businesses from serving alcohol indoors.

The Liberty Belle, which belongs to Empire Cruises, seats up to 200 people and can hold up to 600, according to the company’s website. The boat is typically used for gatherings like concerts and corporate outings with its four decks, four bars and multilevel speaker system.

The company did not immediately return a request for comment on the arrests. 

New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoSectoral bargaining is bad for workers and the American economy New York Philharmonic gives first public performance in more than a year Ron Kim on nursing home immunity repeal: It was critical 'to hold these facilities accountable' MORE (D) addressed the party at his Monday press briefing, calling it "just really reckless, rude, irresponsible and illegal," adding that it "violates common decency."  

"What if one of those people on that cruise gets sick and dies?" he asked.