158 people arrested after attending massive ‘super spreader’ party in California

A girl that was categorized as a 'commercially sexually exploited child' was rescued during the underground event in Los Angeles County.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department announced massive arrests after breaking up a party that violated COVID-19 restrictions.

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On Tuesday, Sheriff Alex Villanueva revealed the department stopped a super-spreader event in Palmdale, which resulted in 158 arrests including 35 minors. The officers also confiscated six firearms and rescued a girl categorized as a “commercially sexually exploited child.”

According to the Facebook announcement, “the operation was done with extensive coordination and meticulous planning from various bureaus and units, including the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station, Human Trafficking Force, Operation Safe Streets Bureau, Aero Bureau, three patrol squads of the Mobile Field Force Personnel, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department.”

Villanueva confirmed the party was not only in violation of health guidelines set by the governor but also criminal in intent. He aims to focus on events such as this underground party in efforts to hinder coronavirus spread versus small businesses and restaurants that may be financially crippled by the pandemic.

“This was a flagrant violation of the governor’s health order, but also please understand, even without the health order, these actions were criminal in nature,” Villanueva said. “I ask our state and local politicians to strongly consider allowing our restaurant industry to reopen and instead strongly support law enforcement in focusing on the targeted enforcement on the super spreader events such as this one.”

Read More: Coronavirus hospitalizations in US surpass 100K for first time

According to Fox 11, 116 adults were cited with misdemeanor charges and released, and 35 minors were cited with misdemeanor charges and released. Three adults and two minors were arrested on burglary charges, one juvenile was arrested on a gun charge, and the 17-year-old promoter was included in the arrests.

Lieutenant Paul Zarris of LASD’s Palmdale station informed the news outlet the department tracked down the party via social media. Due to the number of attendees, they brought in teams from three different LASD stations to stop the event.

“It was what we call a super spreader for COVID,” he said to Fox 11. “The numbers were increasing, they were getting to the point to where well over 100 bodies were inside the house and they were close, not masked up, not using anything to protect themselves, and at this point, we knew we had to get in there and stop it.”

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Screenshot via Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department

theGrio reported Los Angeles County announced new stay-at-home orders as the pandemic continues to surge.

“We know we are asking a lot from so many who have been sacrificing for months on end,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said according to the report. “Acting with collective urgency right now is essential if we want to put a stop to this surge.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recorded a 72.42 % increase in COVID-19 cases for Los Angeles County this past week and a 34.33 % in deaths.

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