Toronto police lay 24 COVID-related charges for party with about 150 people, $13K in alcohol seized

Click to play video: 'Toronto police lay charges following massive booze-fuelled party'
Toronto police lay charges following massive booze-fuelled party
WATCH ABOVE: Twenty-four people are facing charges after a large gathering in downtown Toronto over the weekend. Police say 150 people were partying in a commercial building. Shallima Maharaj reports. – May 10, 2021

Toronto police say 24 charges have been laid after officers responded to a large gathering at a commercial building downtown on Sunday.

Police said officers were originally called to a laneway near Dundas Street West and Huron Street, just east of Spadina Avenue, at around 1:27 a.m., for a dispute.

While officers were there they could hear loud music and people nearby, police said.

A dedicated COVID-19 enforcement team was called to assist the officers where about 150 people — who were not wearing masks — were found “partying” in a commercial building, police said.

Some of the patrons dispersed and left property, police said, adding that officers had to take into account their safety at the time but were able to charge 24 people under the the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA).

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Ontario is currently under a stay-at-home order which prohibits gatherings with anyone outside of your household.

Police said $13,000 worth of alcohol was seized.

The forced said it has 16 dedicated enforcement teams which target specific large gatherings indoors at businesses, short-term rentals, and outdoors. Anyone caught breaking provincial orders could face a $750 fine. Charges can also be laid at a later date, police said.

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