Lawyer is charged for front-porch Pink Floyd performance, says he was unaware of gathering crowd
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A New Jersey lawyer is facing charges for performing Pink Floyd songs on his front porch Saturday night while a group of about 30 people watched from his yard.
Police say intellectual property lawyer John Maldjian, 54, played the band’s greatest hits on an acoustic guitar before a crowd that did not practice social distancing, report NJ.com, Law360, NBC New York and the Asbury Park Press.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issued a stay-at-home order March 21.
Police in Rumson, New Jersey, stopped the show during the song “Wish You Were Here,” according to the police Facebook page.
Maldjian was charged with reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct, two charges related to violating emergency orders, and violation of two local ordinances, according to a statement by New Jersey’s attorney general and superintendent of state police.
Maldjian’s lawyer, Mitchell Ansell, says the arrest stemmed from a misunderstanding.
Maldjian was streaming the concert for his Facebook friends in a performance he dubbed “Stay at Home,” Ansell said.
Maldjian was aware a few neighbors dropped by to watch while practicing social distancing, but he didn’t know the crowd had grown larger after it became dark, Ansell said.
“John Maldjian is an upstanding, law-abiding citizen who even dedicated his Facebook Live performance to our local health care workers,” Ansell said. “His only intention was to entertain his friends online via Facebook Live.”
Maldjian was also unaware of “horrible and vulgar things that people allegedly said to the police” when they broke up the concert, according to Ansell.
Maldjian acknowledges that he made a mistake by playing the music on his porch, rather than inside his home, and he is truly sorry for making the decision, Ansell said. “This is a mistake that John will have to live with for the rest of his life,” Ansell said.
A concertgoer was also charged for allegedly cursing at police and shouting, “Welcome to Nazi Germany.” Ryan Sheftel, 46, of Rumson, was charged with disorderly conduct and violating an ordinance by disturbing the peace.