NYC gets lit! Hundreds of mask-less New Yorkers fire up the music and pack into Washington Square Park for boozy late-night party – before cops pile in and shut it down
- Cops busted two massive parties at Washington Square Park over the weekend
- Hundreds of revelers gathered in the park on Friday and Saturday night in defiance of coronavirus rules
- The crowds were seen dancing under the park’s iconic arch with little to no regard for social distancing
- One woman put on a dazzling show by twirling flaming batons in the air
- The parties ground to a halt when dozens of NYPD officers clad in riot gear swept into the park
Hundreds of revelers gathered in the park on Friday night and again on Saturday in defiance of ongoing bans on large public gatherings.
The crowds were seen dancing under the park’s iconic arch with little to no regard for social distancing.
One woman put on a dazzling show by twirling flaming batons in the air.
Cops busted two massive parties at Manhattan’s Washington Square Park over the weekend as New York City surges back to life after months of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic
A woman twirls flaming batons in front of the arch in Washington Square Park on Saturday night
The woman drew a large crowd with her fiery spectacle in Washington Square Park on Saturday night
Musicians played live music for the crowds gathered in the park in Manhattan’s West Village on Saturday night
Hundreds of revelers gathered in the park on Saturday night in defiance of ongoing bans on large public gatherings
A couple are seen kissing in the fountain at the heart of Washington Square Park on Saturday night
The party came to an end after midnight on Saturday when a large group of NYPD officers arrived to break up the crowds
The parties on Friday and Saturday ultimately ground to a halt after midnight when NYPD officers swept in to break up the crowds for violating social distancing rules.
At around 12.30am Sunday reports emerged of unruly revelers throwing objects at cops – but by 2am the situation appeared to have been brought under control.
The NYPD released an alert early Sunday that a man had punched an officer in the face during an attempted arrest at the park the night before.
It was not immediately clear if the arrest was linked to the crowds police had sought to disperse.
Officials said the suspect approached several officers in the park just after 3am and interfered with an investigation as they tried to stop someone else for a violation.
When an officer went to place the man under arrest he resisted and struck him before fleeing the scene, the NYPD said.
The officer suffered cuts to the inside of his mouth and his hand but refused medical attention.
The NYPD released a photo of the suspect and asked for the public’s help in tracking him down early Sunday morning.
A woman is held in the air by a man as they celebrated the onset of spring in Washington Square Park on Saturday
Revelers enjoyed live music from a full band set up in the middle of Washington Square Park on Saturday night
The revelers showed little regard for social distancing as they packed around the fountain at the center of the park
Many people were seen drinking under the glow of the park’s iconic stone arch
Many people took off their masks as they conversed with each other around the fountain in the park
NYPD officers wearing riot gear are seen sweeping through the park after most of the revelers dispersed
Large piles of trash were seen scattered around the park as the celebration unfolded on Saturday night
Over the past year Washington Square Park – which is regarded as the heart of New York University – has seen numerous late night parties where revelers cast off their masks and their cares despite the ongoing pandemic.
The celebrations have often coincided with Black Lives Matter protests, but this weekends’ appeared to have been fueled by the onset of warmer weather and rising optimism in the city.
While New York City has dramatically ramped up its COVID-19 vaccine rollout in recent weeks, experts and city officials have cautioned that the virus remains a major threat.
The number of daily new cases in the city has shown an upward trend in recent weeks amid the emergence of virus variants.
The city’s seven-day average for new cases stands at 3,159, according to the latest figures, with more than 882,090 cases reported to date.
The seven-day average positivity rate stands at 3.7 percent.