The owner of a Granite Bay mansion has issued an apology after a New Year’s Eve party drew more attendees than he expected.
Gabriel Watters owns the mansion where hundreds of people attended a New Year’s Eve party last week. The party became a viral sensation after photos and videos from inside were posted to YouTube and SnapChat, which drew condemnation on other social media platforms after people began noticing many of the attendants weren’t wearing masks or social distancing.
The party has been deemed a “super spreader” event by critics, though there’s no evidence that anyone at the event had the novel coronavirus COVID-19 or contracted it in connection with the event.
Still, Watters said the party was supposed to be a small affair and quickly ballooned in size after word of the event spread on social media.
In a statement released through his attorney Mark Reichel, Watters apologized for the event and said he worked hard to end it once he learned about what was taking place at his mansion:
“Mr. Watters had invited close friends to a planned small gathering at the very large house for New Year’s Eve. The notoriety of the house caused those invited to broadcast the party and invitation across social media. He never intended for this event to be this big and he apologizes for how things got out of hand.”
At one point during the party, deputies with the Placer County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched following a noise complaint by a neighbor in the gated Los Lagos community. Deputies asked participants to turn down the music but did not make any arrests or citations. The sheriff’s office told a local newspaper that around 100 people were in attendance.
Placer County is part of the Sacramento area region, which is under a mandatory stay-at-home order issued by state health officials in early December. The order prohibits individuals from non-essential travel and in-person gatherings. The party as depicted in the videos and photos posted to social media would qualify as “non-essential” under the health order.