VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – There was cheering from some neighbours of the Vancouver man who was busted for reportedly running a makeshift nightclub out of his downtown penthouse.
The 42-year-old man was arrested early Sunday morning after throwing another two parties at his three-level condo on Richards Street near Georgia Street.
“When we attended this morning, just after 3 o’clock, we found a party that was in full swing — it’s an approximate 1,100-square-foot penthouse,” Sgt. Steve Addison said Sunday. “This appeared to be operating as a nightclub and a bit of a show lounge.”
This is the same unit police visited just more than a week ago for reports of another large gathering, despite prohibitions under COVID-19 rules.
“I think he should be booted out of the building. It’s a very well-run building, lots of professional people. No time for that. I think he should go somewhere else,” one neighbour told CityNews.
In addition to the arrest, the man and 77 of his guests were each handed $230 fines, totalling more than $17,000.
The Telus Garden penthouse parties were well-appointed, complete with tables, menus, and cash tills. The last time officers visited this apartment, the VPD said there was even a doorman, who eventually was given more than $2,500 in fines after the condo owner allegedly refused to come to the door.
“I feel like that’s really irresponsible,” another person said following Sunday’s raid.
Online comments are also unkind to the party host. One Reddit poster says he “needs significant jail time and be last on the list for the vaccine,” though one reply asks, maybe logically, “Wouldn’t vaccinating the rule-breakers first slow the spread?”
Premier John Horgan has promised those ignoring COVID-19 public health orders that authorities will “come down on you like a ton of bricks,” however, no new penalties or enforcement measures have been announced.
The VPD hopes this case serves as “a lesson to anyone who thinks the rules don’t apply to them.”
“If you are caught hosting or attending a party during the pandemic and continue to break the rules, you could face stiff fines or wind up in jail,” Addison said.
Court records show the 42-year-old man is charged with two counts of failing to comply with the order of a health officer. Vancouver police are looking to release him on bail with extensive conditions to force him to comply with COVID-19 health orders.
The building’s strata management company has told CityNews it can’t comment due to privacy concerns.
The apartment owner is scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 22.