The investigation is ongoing but London police say two men are facing charges in connection with a massive Halloween party that drew a crowd of over 100 people.
Tuesday morning, London police confirmed that a 23-year-old man is charged with hosting a nuisance party contrary to a city bylaw, as well as participating in an indoor gathering that exceeded 10 people and hosting an indoor gathering that exceeded 10 people under the Reopening Ontario Act.
A 24-year-old man is charged with participating in an indoor gathering that exceeded 10 people, under the provincial act.
Both have a court date scheduled for Jan. 25, 2021.
The party was held Friday, Oct. 30 at a residence on Beaufort Street, a small side street off where Wharncliffe Road North becomes Western Road.
On Nov. 2, police told Global News that officers responded to the area at roughly 1:15 a.m. Oct. 31 to find “approximately 150 people in attendance” — far exceeding the provincial limit of 10 people indoors, in place as part of a series of measures aimed at stemming the spread of the novel coronavirus.
On Monday, Middlesex-London Health Unit medical officer of health Dr. Chris Mackie said that three of the record-setting 37 COVID-19 cases reported on Sunday were tied to the party and involved Fanshawe College students.
However, in an update on Wednesday, the health unit stated that while they are “seeing cases across many age groups, including post-secondary students, none of these cases has been linked conclusively to a house party that occurred on Beaufort Street.”
“Three Fanshawe College students who tested positive for COVID-19 were reported to the Health Unit on Saturday,” the health unit clarified, adding that the students “were close contacts of a previous case and did not attend the Beaufort Street house party. The Middlesex-London Health Unit regrets causing confusion about this situation.”
Previously, Western University associate vice-president of student experience Jennie Massey said that if Western students were confirmed to have attended, the school would “review all cases under the Code of Student Conduct, follow up and apply sanctions as appropriate.”
On Tuesday, she told Global News that the school has “no indication that these individuals (charged) are Western students.”
Some residents living in the Beaufort area who did not attend the party shared their experiences from the night with Global News, including fourth year Western University student Nyren Mo who lives next door.
“The wall’s kind of like right between us and people have being like banging on my roommate’s wall and he’s kind of upset,” Mo recalled.
“At first we were kind of like struggling if we should really step out and just confront with them. But I was thinking — I know the health risk — it would not be worth trying,” he said, adding that when police arrived he and his roommate were shocked by the amount of people leaving.
“We didn’t expect it would be like 150 people. We thought that would just be 20 or 30.”
Tano Khan is a graduate of Western who lives on Beaufort. She says the night of the party there were so many cars on the street that she had to park two streets over.
“I came back home and I had to wear a mask even just to, like, enter the complex. It was really annoying because even my roommates and stuff, we couldn’t fall asleep. You have midterms going on or whatever else and it was just, like, really inconvenient for everybody,” she said.
“I hope that they do get charged for it because it’s really irresponsible at this point in time to be doing something like this.”
Western University student Jeffrey Trudelle is from Toronto and he says he was not in town during the party, but he wasn’t pleased to hear about it.
“It’s unacceptable to have a party with so many people when people are dying from a disease like this and people aren’t allowed to see their loved ones on their deathbeds and stuff like that. And it just feels wrong to have such a large party and be so close to it.”
— with files from Global News’ Matthew Trevithick.View link »