LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Arraignment was postponed today to Oct. 14 for two TikTok personalities who hosted two parties at their rented home in the Hollywood Hills amid the coronavirus pandemic despite health restrictions banning such events.
Bryce Hall, 21, and Blake Gray, 19, are charged with one misdemeanor count each of causing a public nuisance by conducting a loud and unruly gathering and violating the “Safer LA” emergency declaration, according to the criminal complaint.
Hall and Gray hosted two parties at the home they share on Appian Way within less than a week, including an Aug. 14 celebration for Hall's birthday, according to City Attorney Mike Feuer. Los Angeles police officers responded to both parties and stayed until the guests left, he said.
Police initially issued Hall a “party house citation” on Aug. 8 and left a warning that further violations may result in the power being shut off, according to the city attorney.
It wasn't clear how many people attended that party, but Feuer said he believes that officers saw a dozen or two dozen people leaving the house.
Six days later, police returned to the house after getting a call about shots being fired and found several hundred people at a party, according to the City Attorney's Office.
Police didn't find any evidence that shots had been fired, but officers spoke with Gray, who acknowledged he was aware of the prior citation, Feuer said.
“If you have a combined 19 million followers on TikTok in the middle of a public health crisis, you should be modeling great behavior, best practices for all of us rather than brazenly violating the law and then posting videos about it as we allege happened here,” Feuer said when he announced the charges.
The city cut power to the Hollywood Hills home two weeks after Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that he would authorize the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power to shut off utilities to homes and businesses that host “egregious” gatherings amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We allege these hosts have been incredibly irresponsible, with a highly infectious disease spreading and parties banned because of it, and we allege they violated the law,” Feuer said.
It wasn't clear whether any cases of coronavirus have been linked to the parties at the home rented by the TikTok stars, the city attorney said.
“At this point, under the city's rules, partygoers are not going to be getting citations, but that could change, as well,” Feuer said.
The city attorney also filed charges against Jianwei Bai, the 43-year- old owner of a home on Outpost Drive, and David Marvisi, the 59-year-old owner of a home on Sunset View Drive.
The two -- who are also awaiting arraignment -- own homes that have been the subject of numerous community complaints and both owners have received multiple citations for violating the city's party house ordinance and received a warning letter from the City Attorney's Office about potential prosecution, according to Feuer.
Penalties can range up to a year in jail and up to $2,000 in fines, according to the City Attorney's Office.
Feuer said he hopes the announcement of the charges will make others reconsider whether to host parties, saying that “the stakes are so much higher now and that means we are going to be even more vigilant now.”
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