Last week deputies from the New York City Sheriff’s Office broke up a gathering in a Bronx warehouse that was in violation of the city’s COVID-19 regulations. According to The Washington Post the gathering numbered over 200 people, far more than the legal maximum of 10 for a nonessential social gathering.
Authorities are calling the gathering an ‘illegal fight club’. The warehouse was kitted out with purple and red neon lights with a makeshift ring in the center where metal barriers were used in lieu of ropes.
Videos from the event, which organizers titled ‘Rumble in the Bronx’ were uploaded to Facebook.
RUMBLE IN THE BRONX STREET BOXING FIGHT
Big RESPECT TO MY OPPONENT THIS AINT PERSONAL TO ME THIS IS BOXING BRUH THIS WHAT I DO I WILL LEARN AND GET BETTER FROM THIS EXPERIENCE . . . #RumbleinTheBronx #GlovesUpGunsDown #IAmARock #GodisMyRock #Boxing #NoPainNoGain #LetsGetit #TrainingDay #BeastMode #HeavyBag #IAmARock #GodisMyRock #HardWork #Dedication #StriveForGreatNess #LetsGoChamp #WbcWorkOut #NoBoxingNoLife #WorkHard #PrayHarder #BloodSweatAndTears #Fitness #WorkOut #IWillNotBreak #MexicanStyle #Motivation #Dedication #WorkingOnMyCraft #ILoveBoxing . . . @toprank @wbcboxing @titleboxing @premierboxing @boxeomexicano @everlast @ringside_boxing @usaboxing @ringtv @supremeboxing @boxingnewsonline @showtimeboxingPosted by Team Ramos JR on Sunday, November 15, 2020
Less a fight club, the event was like many non-sanctioned ‘backyard’ boxing and MMA events, where individuals agree to fight each other under some semblance of rules to resolve a personal dispute.
The Sheriff’s office claimed they uncovered two loaded firearms from the event and observed people not wearing face coverings or adhering to social distancing protocols.
Ten of the event organizers, including the club’s reported leader Michael J. Roman, 32, were charged with unlawful assembly. There were also charges for health and alcohol violations and participating in a prohibited combative sport.
Each of the organizers is facing the potential of a $15,000 fine.
The same night this event was shut down, police shut down an “illegal bottle club” party at an art studio in the Chelsea neighbourhood of Manhattan. That event also featured more than 200 people failing to adhere to social distancing regulations.
Hours after these events were shut down, police also busted a rave in Brooklyn which featured more than 185 people.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak New York City has seen over 278,000 cases of the virus, leading to over 19,500 deaths. The city, like so many other places in North America, is currently battling a second wave of infections. These second waves are threatening to overwhelm local public health infrastructure, which could lead to dramatic increases in deaths among patients.