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Another beach party on Maui sparks outrage; organizers say they don’t see the problem

Updated: Apr. 19, 2021 at 6:34 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Another crowded beach party on Maui has sparked outrage within the community.

Saturday’s event was at Po’olenalena Beach Park, also known as Chang’s Beach in Makena.

The event’s promoter said about 150 people attended and claims it was respectful and safe. He didn’t see the issue with the mass gathering.

“As far as I’m concerned, we’re outside. We are in an open area environment, it’s not like we’re all congregated in a store, in a restaurant,” said Atlas. “The police were in the parking lot, they didn’t arrest or give anybody any citations or anything. Everything was calm and peaceful. So, I don’t see what the problem is.”

The Communications Director for Mayor Michael Victorino said police received no complaints until the party was underway.

“We spoke with MPD, which reported receiving multiple calls after 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 17. No calls were made to MPD prior to that time,” said Brian Perry.

Maui Police Department said people dispersed when officers arrived.

“Upon arrival, offenders began to disperse the beach area. Officers stood by to assist Park personnel to clear the parking lot so the gates could be closed,” said MPD Information and Education Specialist Alana Pico.

Pico said one person was cited for not wearing a mask.

One Maui resident who was there with his family asked to remain anonymous. He said he called police around 4 p.m.

“Multiple ohana at the beach called MPD dispatch around 4 p.m. voicing concerns over the gathering,” he said. “One SUV ended up coming at 4:45 p.m. They sat in their car for about 20 minutes then left. The other MPD units didn’t show up until 7.”

Atlas said officers did kick everyone out after the park closed at 7 p.m. He says their trash went out with them.

“We did clean to the beach,” Atlas said. “We had plenty of trash bags and at the end, we carried all the trash personally.”

The man who was there with his family said several partygoers were acting disrespectful.

“The way these guys were acting was other than respectful. They were vomiting all over the beach, pissing all over the beach,” he said.

Atlas said regardless of the backlash it was all positive from those who attended and he wants to do more of these in the future.

“We got great feedback. They said they had a good time, everybody had fun. They want us to do it again,” he said.

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