Huge Party Spurs Deputies’ Response, Officials’ Regret

Gould Avenue mansion
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
This home was the site of a controversial pool party held on Saturday, June 15. Authorities and a broker for the house said at a City Council meeting on Tuesday the owner, who has not moved in yet, was not aware the party was going on.

A massive pool party on Gould Avenue on Saturday that drew hundreds of negative comments on social media has prompted city officials to be vigilant regarding a gathering scheduled for early next month, though there are indications the bash is being relocated to Los Angeles.
Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station Capt. Todd Deeds said community members should never have to deal with the “very disturbing” behavior from some of the estimated 300 partygoers at the sprawling June 15 event. He and city officials said they would be ready if a July 6 pool party advertised online takes place here.
“First off, I want to say I’m sorry,” Deeds said at a regularly scheduled City Council meeting held on Tuesday night. “A lot of people were impacted and I just want to offer my condolences. It shouldn’t happen here in the city.”
The party was described on a flyer posted to Facebook as an “Aquaholic Summer Mansion Pool Party” with sections/cabanas starting at $1,000. The flyer said that the affair would run from 3-9 p.m. and that partygoers would be picked up near T.J. Maxx at 663 Foothill Blvd.
Photos and videos on Facebook show young adults in revealing swimwear including thongs and short shorts standing near the store or the large pool at the residence.
Before the captain spoke, Mayor Leonard Pieroni read a city statement about the pool party that said officials had no knowledge it was taking place and were working to ensure such events wouldn’t occur in the future.
“Due to conditions as they existed at the time of the response, field units made the determination that it would be best to monitor and control for the secondary impacts of the event — noise, loitering, trash, unruly conduct, public drunkenness, traffic congestion, parking, etc. — rather than to try and [disperse] the party and risk possible unrest,” Pieroni said. Neighbors’ complaints prompted deputies to go to the scene, where no injuries were reported, though Deeds said some property damage occurred.
Resident Jan SooHoo spoke after Pieroni read the statement and said the people involved with organizing or participating in the party needed to be disciplined with arrests or citations.
“I just want to remind everybody that we teach our children there are consequences for their actions,” SooHoo said. “I hope that we can count on law enforcement to enforce these ordinances. It may seem trivial compared to the armed robberies and burglaries of some homes that’s been going on, but these are the things that impact our day-to-day lives here.”
Realtor Arthur Ambarachyan said he represented the buyer in the recent sale of the property, and escrow closed on April 22. The buyer is not the person who sponsored the party, officials said.
“The very same day [escrow closed], we started an eviction case,” Ambarachyan said. “It was several weeks later that we noticed whoever was on the occupied property had left. Then we went there again with a locksmith to change the locks and there was a completely different occupant.”
A second eviction case was pursued, he said, but “there’s only so much you can do with the laws out there. Like the captain said, we will be changing the locks this coming Monday or Sunday.”
The Sheriff’s Department contacted the homeowner and the resident said he had “no idea” the Saturday party was held, Deeds said.
“He didn’t find out until we actually contacted him,” Deeds said. “He purchased the property recently and is planning on moving into the property with his family.” The captain said the owner was “appalled” by what had taken place.
Deeds added the department also contacted the person who had been occupying the house at the time of the party and that person was served with a five-day eviction notice on Tuesday.
“So he should be out of the property by Sunday,” Deeds said.
The party’s planner also was contacted and “he claimed it was a legitimate party, he thought it was legal, according to him. He’s been put on notice and we told him he’s not allowed to ever do this again in the city. And he said he completely understands and he’s not going to have that party that’s been referred to on July 6, and hopefully he stays true to his word.”
Deeds said the property owner said he is not ready to move into the property yet but is going to secure it as soon as the person occupying it moves out.
No arrests or citations occurred at the party, said Sgt. Alan Chu, a detective at the Crescenta Valley station, on Wednesday. He said one car was towed from T.J. Maxx, where residents said vehicles parked before their occupants entered the party.
Chu, who said there were approximately 300 people at the party, said there was “no way” to statistically link the cars to the celebration because they weren’t parked at the house.
At the meeting on Tuesday, Deeds said it was unclear if any citations were written and that deputies were focused on the “problem at hand, and that was a mass of people.” He said public safety and officer safety were the main focus and no one was hurt from the party.
“There was some property damage, some broken bottles and what not, and that’s extremely unfortunate and that type of behavior just shouldn’t be tolerated,” Deeds said.
“As far as going after issues like urinating in public, illegal parking and trespassing, I wish we could have addressed all of those,” Deeds said. “I wished we could have held all of those people accountable for bad behavior but, unfortunately, our units were tied up focused on the problem that was right in front of them.”
Deeds said his department was “very closely” monitoring the possible July 6 party, and he suspected that the same party planner was behind the event.
He said the Sheriff’s Department will monitor the party location and T.J. Maxx lot to ensure the incident doesn’t happen again.
Councilman Greg Brown said a sheriff’s unit monitors social media, but Deeds said the party “completely caught us off guard.”
Brown said the party was similar to others in which the exact address wasn’t identified until hours before the events began.
In response to a question from an audience member, Brown said no permit was given by the city for the apparently for-profit party.
“It’s prohibited,” Brown said. “There is no permit process.”
City Manager Mark Alexander said the municipal staff had been working with the city prosecutor to seek a court-ordered injunction to prevent the possible July 6 event.
“We are moving forward with that, just in case,” Alexander said.
As of Wednesday, tickets for “Soak City 2k19 Pool Party” on July 6 were available at prices ranging from $15-$40. The party was advertising its dress code as “strictly swimwear” and gave its location as Los Angeles.

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