Few of those in the crowd were wearing masks, and it was not known if the visit would draw a reaction from Gov. Phil Murphy’s office, which has consistently warned it will punish those who violate the state’s coronavirus orders.
The Nelk Boys are three men — Jesse Sebastiani, Kyle Forgeard and Steve Deleonardis — known for their visits to college campuses and for their pranks, NJ.com reported. Their videos typically include them pulling pranks and showing off new merchandise with their “Full Send” logo.
In addition to their YouTube subscribers, the Nelk Boys have more than 3 million Instagram followers and nearly 382,000 Twitter followers. The group had teased they would be in New Jersey for a few days before their arrival, and posted videos on Instagram and Twitter Monday afternoon showing them spraying champagne outside the “Jersey Shore” house.
As the crowd outside the house grew, Korman said the Nelk boys requested an off-duty Seaside Heights police security officer to assist their security.
About 7:30 p.m., a man in the throng of about 1,500 fans outside the house was arrested on a disorderly persons offense, after rocks and glass bottles were thrown at police, Korman said. Meanwhile, down the road at Dupont Avenue and Ocean Terrace, a group of about 1,000 people associated with the Full Send NJ car club had gathered. The car group’s name appears to be unrelated to the logo used by the Nelk Boys.
As the crowds became unruly, Seaside Heights Police requested help from surrounding towns to assist with crowd control, because authorities were overwhelmed with disorderly persons offenses, Korman said. In addition, Police Chief Thomas J. Boyd ordered the town closed to nonresident traffic while the crowds were dispersed. The situation was brought under control by midnight, Korman said.
BuzzFeed, which referred to the group as a “frat channel,” said the Nelk Boys have run afoul of authorities in Los Angeles and Illinois over coronavirus mandates, and YouTube has suspended the group from its Partner Program, which is how channels earn money, it said in a Sept. 11 tweet.
“We suspended the NELK channel from the Partner Program because they encouraged large numbers of people to disregard social distancing guidelines, creating a large public health risk,” the tweet said, referring to coronavirus pandemic protocols.
The group was in Los Angeles in August protesting COVID mandates, leading a crowd chanting “open the gyms,” and then threw large parties attended by hundreds of students at Illinois State University, according to that report.
The mood was decidedly less celebratory later, when the landlord at told the Nelk Boys to pack up and leave. “It’s time to go,” he can be heard saying in an Instagram video, as the group says they’re being kicked out.
Outside the house, Steve Deleonardis, one of the leaders of the Nelk Boys, then was caught on video blasting fans for swarming outside the house, and blaming them for being kicked out.
“Because you’re here, we have to go leave,” DeLeonardis said in a video captured on TikTok and tweeted by the SFTY Network, which focuses on YouTube. “Our merch drop is in 30 minutes and we are uploading a video. If you’re here right now you don’t (expletive) like us.”
“You’re ruining our (expletive) biggest day. We worked two months for this day,” he said.
The group later uploaded a video to YouTube showing scenes from the “Jersey Shore” house and some other pranks pulled before the group arrived in Seaside Heights, including one where the group got kicked out for trolling a rally for President Trump.
Korman said the following people were arrested:
- Nicolas Conner, 22, of Hackettstown; he was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest;
- Conner Utter, 22, of Hackettstown, charged with disorderly conduct;
- Seth Wilson, 20, of Toms River, charged with disorderly conduct;
- Jonathon Downey, 21, of Brick, charged with disorderly conduct;
- James Canas, 19, of Linden, charged with obstruction;
- John Ojeda-Muniz, 18, of Linden, charged with disorderly conduct;
- Adewusi Oluwatomi, 26, of the Avenel section of Woodbridge, charged with disorderly conduct;
- David Dasilva, 21, of Kearny, charged with obstruction.
Korman said Seaside Heights received assistance from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office; Ocean County Sheriffs Department; the Bay Head, Mantoloking, Lavallette, Brick Township, Toms River, Seaside Park, Island Heights and Berkeley Township police departments; the Seaside Heights Fire Department Station 44, and the Tri-Boro First Aid Squad.
This report has been updated with information on arrests from the Seaside Heights Police Department.
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