Toronto

Police disperse Brampton house party attended by as many as 200 people

Police and bylaw officers say they broke up a Brampton house party attended by as many as 200 people on Saturday night.

Organizers tried to keep gathering off social media and hide it from neighbours, police say

Police and bylaw officers say they broke up a Brampton house party attended by as many as 200 people on Saturday night. 0:29

Police and bylaw officers say they broke up a Brampton house party attended by as many as 200 people on Saturday night.

Organizers tried to keep the gathering off social media and hide the event from their neighbours, according to Peel Regional Police. 

Officers said they were called to the area of Countryside Drive and Goreway Road around 10 p.m. due to noise complaints and reports of a large party taking place inside a home.

When police arrived on scene with bylaw officers, it took them about an hour to disperse everybody and send them home.

No arrests were made, but police said people were inside and outside of the home. 

Officials said the homeowner or party organizer also hired security to park cars in yards, driveways and green space in the surrounding area.

Video posted to social media showed numerous vehicles parked on grass near the property.

Neighbour took video after seeing cars in area

Harman Sohi shot a video while he was driving through the neighbourhood and noticed the "unusual" amount of cars in the area. 

Sohi, who lives a few minutes down the road from where the party took place, said the scene concerned him. 

"Clearly, people aren't taking things seriously. I don't think they realize the bigger picture. Our whole community is being impacted and this is exactly the reason why we're not entering Stage 3," he said. 

Following the video he posted to Instagram, Sohi said he's received many messages and comments from people online claiming that the party wasn't a big problem and that the pandemic simply isn't real. 

"It's not about snitching. I didn't even call anyone. Police were already on scene. It's just common sense that, when you see 150 cars that aren't normally there for a party, that the community would be concerned," he said. 

Sohi told CBC Toronto that he has friends who have been dealing with COVID-19 symptoms and he is disappointed by the response from people who aren't taking the virus seriously when vulnerable people are being hurt.

"We can wait for the parties but when there's two to three hundred people out this can't be a mistake. This is an organized event and it is hurting the community as a whole. These people didn't value the rules that are in place."

Police hope party isn't part of a trend

Const. Danny Martini, spokesperson for Peel police, says police are hoping these large gatherings don't become part of a larger trend.

"People were getting into these good habits and they were doing all the right things. Now as we've gone into Stage 1 and 2, people have thought things are safer, but realistically nothing has changed. We really still need to make those good safe choices. Wear a mask, wash our hands and keep a safe distance," she said.

Brampton city councillor Gurpeet Dhillon said in a tweet that this party was unacceptable. 

Under provincial emergency restrictions, gatherings in Peel Region are limited to 10 people, with physical distancing to be maintained between members of different households.

Parties have been blamed for a string of recent COVID-19 infections in Ottawa and Schomberg.

Brampton bylaw officers have not said whether tickets were issued against organizers or those who attended.

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