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Unruly, Defiant Groups At Overcrowded Hudson Park Force Authorities To Close Access Roads

James J. Braddock Park
James J. Braddock Park Photo Credit: Hudson County Freeholder Director Anthony Vainieri

Rowdy crowds who ignored social-distancing directives while cursing sheriff's officers forced authorities to close roads Saturday into one of North Jersey’s larger public parks – and threaten to do it again if the situation doesn’t improve.

The roads into James J. Braddock Park in North Bergen will be reopened on Sunday, Hudson County Freeholder Director Anthony Vainieri said.

That will be subject to change, however, depending on how the public responds, he said Saturday.

The May 2 reopening of the popular site – long-ago known as North Hudson Park – was done on a trial basis, the freeholder director noted.

“If people didn't practice social distancing and our parks got too over crowded, we would revisit the decision to keep our parks open,” Vainieri said. “We are still under an executive order by the governor to practice social distancing.”

On Saturday, he said, “the park was getting too crowded.”

What’s more, people were “respecting social distancing and yelling back and being disrespectful to our sheriff officers,” Vainieri said.

“A decision was made to shut the roads down entering the park ASAP,” he added. “That would eliminate more people coming in.

“The park remained open and no one was told to leave,” Vainieri said.

“People may have been told to break up more than 10 people,” he added. “That is the law right now.”

All roads will reopen on Sunday.

“However if the park gets overwhelming again, roads will close again,” Vainieri warned.

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