Man charged after large N.C. block party says he will fight the allegations

Man charged after large N.C. block party says he will fight the allegations

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The town of Hillsborough is reminding people they need to comply with stay at home orders after police said dozens gathered for a block party Sunday night.

“Some frustration and disappointment,” Hillsborough Mayor Jenn Weaver said.

It started around 6:30 Sunday evening when police were dispatched to Riddle Road where they say between 30 and 50 people had gathered.

Police said they tried to educate the crowd, warning people that they were breaking the Governor’s Executive Order, banning gatherings of more than 10 people.

“It was people out here shooting basketball. We out here regular day. They see it everyday in the neighborhood,” a neighbor said, who asked that we not give his name out of fear of retaliation.

He said police asked them to spread out or social distance and they complied.

Then an hour later, when police returned, the large group was still there. Police told them to break it up, which they did.

CBS 17 asked the man why they had gathered.

“This is a neighborhood. Everybody is family. We can’t stop people from coming and walking up,” he explained.

“The more people we are with than the greater the risk of infection is,” Weaver said.

Weaver said she understands the stay at home order is difficult to always follow, but calls it necessary.

“We are mainly trying very hard to educate people… with the incident last night you know there was a strong effort to educate the group at first and try to disperse with the why,” she explained.

Tocee Mitchell, 32, is charged with violating the Governor’s Executive Order.

Michell’s neighbor was quick to come to his defense.

“Take his name, run it in the mud… they want to try to make him control the street that is not his. It did not happen in that yard,” he said.

Mitchell denied doing anything wrong. He says he’s hired an attorney and plans to fight the charge.