Piles of trash covered Manhattan’s Washington Square Park after large crowds of young revelers gathered there to party for the second weekend in a row – ignoring warnings from Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Photos and video obtained by DailyMail.com showed garbage cans overflowing and discarded alcohol containers strewn across the park on Sunday morning – hours after hundreds of people were seen dancing, singing and twerking in front of the park’s iconic arch on Friday and Saturday night.
The images are sure to enrage Cuomo, who slammed New York University and the NYPD for failing to crack down on similarly crowded festivities with few masks and little social distancing over Labor Day weekend.
‘Frankly, NYU security didn’t do anything about it. The local police didn’t do anything about it,’ the governor said last week.
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Piles of trash covered Manhattan’s Washington Square Park on Sunday morning after large crowds of young revelers gathered there to party for the second weekend in a row
Photos obtained by DailyMail.com showed overflowing garbage cans and discarded alcohol containers strewn over the park
A man is seen working to clean up trash spilling out of a garbage can in Washington Square Park on Sunday morning
A man sits on a bench next to a mountain of trash left behind by party-goers on Saturday night
An empty tequila bottle sits on a bench in the park on Sunday morning, hours after hundreds of revelers packed the space
Throngs of young people were seen dancing in front of the iconic arch on Friday (pictured) and Saturday night
One attendee said the gatherings were celebratory Black Lives Matter protests – not parties
Most attendees appeared unfazed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as they cozied up to strangers
On Friday night, NYPD officers from the 6th Precinct did respond to the park, finally breaking up the party around 2am.
But less than 24 hours later another gathering cropped up on Saturday night before the NYPD stepped in again to disperse the crowds.
One of the attendees, Larissa Vassallo, told CBS2 the gathering was not a party but a celebratory Black Lives Matter protest.
‘Rejoicing is a part of protest as well,’ Vassallo said. ‘We start oftentimes early, early in the morning, and then we come here to enjoy each other and love each other.’
The aftermath of the back-to-back ‘protests’ was laid bare on Sunday morning as trash was seen covering nearly every surface in the park – including empty bottles of wine and tequila, pizza boxes and fast food wrappers.
On Friday night, NYPD officers from the 6th Precinct responded to the park, finally breaking up the party around 2am
A woman is seen twerking on the ground as Friday night’s festivities ramped up
The aftermath of the back-to-back gatherings was laid bare on Sunday morning as trash was seen covering nearly every surface in the park
Empty alcohol containers and bags of takeout from local restaurants are seen stacked next to a trash can
Party-goers did little to clean up after themselves – leaving a massive mess behind for park workers
A park worker uses gloves and a trash picker to corral tons of waste leftover from the revelry on Saturday night
In a statement on Saturday morning, NYU spokesman John Beckman told DailyMail.com that the university is concerned about the large gatherings and taking steps to enforce safety measures in the pandemic, but noted that NYU does not have jurisdiction over the park.
‘The University is concerned about the reports it has received about activity in Washington Square Park last night, though those reports also suggest it was less crowded and there was less activity than last Saturday,’ Beckman said.
‘Also it’s not clear what fraction of the people in the park were from the NYU community – Washington Square is open to all and its draw extends far beyond NYUers.’
He added: ‘It is important to remember: being outside in a park is not against the rules as long as the students are wearing masks, maintaining proper physical distancing, and avoiding the kind of large, crowded activities that have been associated with transmission of COVID-19.
‘That is what we are trying to emphasize and reinforce in our messages to our students, and will continue to do so in coordination with the city and neighborhood groups.’
The images are sure to enrage Gov Andrew Cuomo, who slammed New York University and the NYPD for failing to crack down on similarly crowded festivities with few masks and little social distancing over Labor Day weekend
‘You know we’re closing colleges all across this state, what do you think is going to happen?’ Cuomo threatened
In a statement, NYU spokesman John Beckman told DailyMail.com that the university is concerned about the large gatherings and taking steps to enforce safety measures in the pandemic, but noted that NYU does not have jurisdiction over the park
Though some of those gathered were wearing masks, many seemed to disregard the advice to limit COVID transmission
The Tribute In Light is seen in the background at the park on the 19th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks
According to a source at the park on Friday, crowds began forming at around 9.30pm. There was a minimal police presence towards midnight, as the two cops previously stationed under arch were not to be seen.
Although the park closes at 1am, the party was allowed to continue, as around a dozen NYPD vehicles gathered near the park by around 1.30am. At 2am, cops moved in to clear the park.
The events on Friday and Saturday night followed large gatherings at the park last weekend that drew harsh criticism from Cuomo at a press conference on Tuesday.
‘You have NYU students coming from other countries. You have a large gathering, many people without masks, it went on for hours, what do you think is going to happen?’ Cuomo said, raising fears that such gatherings could spread COVID-19.
It was a shocking start to the NYU school year, which resumed classes last week. So far, at least 30 students have been suspended for violating COVID-19 safety guidelines.
So far 108 colleges across the country have reported more than 100 cases each since reopening their doors for the fall semester.
New York schools seeing outbreaks include SUNY Oneonta, Cornell University, University at Buffalo, Hofstra University, SUNY Oswego, Colgate University and SUNY Fredonia.
‘You know we’re closing colleges all across this state, what do you think is going to happen?’ Cuomo threatened.
‘You say we’re New York tough – that is not tough by the NYU administrators who as soon as they heard about it should have said stop it and sent NYU security to break it down,’ Cuomo said.
‘It’s not tough by New York City enforcement, they saw a large gathering and violated social distancing,’ he added.
On Tuesday, Governor Cuomo lashed out at NYU and the NYPD for allowing such parties last weekend
Few were wearing masks and social distancing was disregarded despite the coronavirus pandemic
Friday’s gathering (above) is the second weekend in a row that large crowds have gathered in the park to party
It was a shocking start to the NYU school year, which resumed classes last week. So far, at least 20 students have been suspended for violating COVID-19 safety guidelines
NYU previously said it is investigating last weekend’s party and ‘any students who have violated our expectations will be subject to disciplinary action’.
At Cuomo’s press conference, one reporter pointed out that crowds of Black Lives Matter protesters gathered at the park earlier this summer and it didn’t lead to an outbreak.
‘Well just because you get lucky once, doesn’t mean you’re going to get lucky twice,’ Cuomo responded.
‘And those protests didn’t have a high number of people from out of state coming from states with a high infection rate from an epidemiological point of view,’ the governor said.
‘That is a major difference. One out of state person who is infected can be a super spreader. Just takes one. The colleges, NYU, how many countries and states are those students coming from? Those are not just Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx.’
Secretary to the Governor Melissa DeRosa said testing was amped up during protests to catch infections early and says outbreaks among colleges have been linked to students from states with high infection rates.
Cuomo announced any school that goes over 100 COVID-19 cases must to report it to the state Department of Health immediately and the school must be closed down to do remote learning if it crosses that threshold.
In the press conference Cuomo threw plenty of jabs towards Mayor Bill De Blasio including blaming him for the city’s inability to restart indoor dining due to reckless city bars and college parties.
Cuomo announced any school that goes over 100 COVID-19 cases must to report it to the state Department of Health immediately and the school must be closed down to do remote learning if it crosses that threshold
Overall New York city has had 232,926 positive cases, 19,116 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 4,623 probable deaths
On Friday night, the throngs of revelers danced and twerked late into the night in Washington Square Park
Cuomo says indoor dining can’t start until City Hall is able to ensure compliance with social distancing and mask wearing. He said opening eateries would require double the current number of businesses to be inspected.
‘If we have the enforcement mechanism in place, then we can talk about opening restaurants,’ Cuomo said.
‘It would be negligent and reckless to open indoor dining, knowing that you have issues in upstate New York, knowing that compliance is going to be a problem,’ he added.
Later in the week, Cuomo said that New York City restaurants would be able to open at 25 percent capacity starting September 30.
Overall New York city has had 232,926 positive tests for the virus, and 19,116 confirmed COVID-19 deaths and 4,623 probable deaths.
It’s unclear how many of the revelers on Friday were NYU students, but the park is right next to the school’s campus
Partygoers are seen crowding in Washington Square Park without masks on Friday despite the coronavirus pandemic