(NBCNEWYORK) – Unmasked and in clear defiance of the New York’s social distancing rules, a crowd of several hundred people filled streets in Queens Friday night, overwhelming police and leaving a mess in their wake.
Video of the nighttime party shows people lining Steinway Street in Astoria, packed from sidewalk to sidewalk. New York City police officers responding to the scene were vastly outnumbered and unable to enforce safety measures.
“In the 52 years that I’ve lived in Astoria, never in my life have I seen it like this,” said Chris Biancaniello. Neighbors like Biancaniello worry the late-night partying could continue.
The crowds caught the attention of Mayor Bill de Blasio Saturday, who promised increased enforcement in Astoria following Friday night’s crowds.
“We’ll be out in Astoria and across the city tonight to make sure restaurants are doing their part to keep their diners and their workers safe,” de Blasio tweeted.
A community clean-up in Astoria has been scheduled for Sunday at 9 a.m. Attendees have been asked to wear a mask.