Wary of ‘unruly’ youth, Toms River, NJ brings back summer curfew
TOMS RIVER — Saying its decision was prompted by resident complaints, this Ocean County township has instituted a summer curfew for the third consecutive year.
A release on the Toms River Township website Wednesday indicated that the start of the curfew would be pushed back an hour from 2021, from 10 p.m. last year to 11 p.m. for this summer, just as the 2021 curfew had been advanced one hour from the 9 p.m. mark set during the first summer of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It applies to children age 17 and under if unaccompanied by a parent or guardian and lasts until 5 a.m. daily, through Sept. 30.
The release said that Mayor Maurice "Mo" Hill's office had received complaints following Memorial Day weekend from "residents of the barrier island beach communities within the Township's borders of unruly behavior by juveniles."
In response to that, the curfew is in effect for both North Beach and Ortley Beach, whereas Ortley Beach had not been included either of the past two summers.
As quoted in the release, Hill made only a passing reference to an out-of-control, "pop-up" party in Long Branch that resulted in numerous arrests in May, and others that had been promoted on social media, both in Long Branch and Point Pleasant Beach, that were canceled under threat of legal action.
Police Chief Mitch Little said the curfew is designed to "address the destructive behavior we have experienced on both public and private property with large groups of juveniles," without mentioning any specific incident.
According to the release, exceptions to the Toms River curfew include travel to and from private gatherings, religious or educational functions, or employment, plus medical emergencies and "errands or legitimate business" at the instruction of a parent or guardian.
Violators may be subject to a disorderly persons offense and penalties imposed in municipal court.