Freeport sports complex, Franklin Square bar cited for overcrowding
Two Nassau County business were cited for overcrowding and violating coronavirus restrictions, officials say.
One of the incidents occurred indoors at the Long Island Sports Complex in Freeport, where hundreds of people were allegedly crammed together to watch a soccer tournament.
Officials say there was also a line of people stretched down the block waiting to get inside the Long Island Sports Complex on Mill Road.
The alleged violation was called in by the Freeport Police Department and the fire marshal issued multiple appearance tickets for overcrowding, locked exits and violations of the public health law.
On Sunday, News 12 Long Island spoke with Steven Diamond, the owner of the Long Island Sports Complex. He said it was rented out to an organizer who knew the rules but broke them anyway. He added that his employee was instructed to call police when the crowd got out of hand.
"They just kept coming in," Diamond said. "They thought, '10 o'clock at night, who's going to know? Who's going to care?' They were all masked, but it didn't matter. We said it doesn't matter. You can't have spectators here."
Diamond said he's still renting to facility to teams who are behaving responsibly, but he will no longer rent to the person who organized Saturday night's evert.
Meanwhile, the Nassau County fire marshal cited Lucky 13 Bar and Grill in Franklin Square for overcrowding, fire code violations, and violations of public health law.
News 12 Long Island exclusively obtained photos that appear to show people standing shoulder to shoulder, some of them not wearing masks inside Lucky 13 on Friday night.
According to the fire marshal, more than 100 people were packed inside the bar at one point, and officials say they were there for a grand opening party.
Four appearance tickets were issued there.
News 12 Long Island spoke with a man who said he's one of the owners of Lucky 13. Despite the photos, he denied the allegations.
"People really need to stick with the plan," said Assistant Chief Fire Marshal Michael Uttaro. He said violations like these make the road ahead more difficult for everyone else, including other small businesses. So, he's asking everyone to follow the rules. "Especially when there are large events such as what was going on in that bar, and at the soccer tournament, you risk, a they call it, super spreader events that wind up getting more people sick."
So far, the Nassau Fire Marshal's office has issued more than 1,000 citations, and handed out around 90 appearance tickets, for alleged COVID-19 safety violations.