Each year at the annual Far Hills Race, also known as “The Hunt,” a crowd of up to 40,000 gathers on the rolling hills of Moorland Farm to share in the celebration and to raise money for the Somerset Medical Center in Somerville NJ. Although the race attracts families and friends alike, in recent years the event has been plagued by criminal offenses and arrests among attendees.
To address the problems of years past, including the over 30 arrests involving drinking and disorderly conduct last year, officials decided to implement more stringent restrictions on alcohol and alcohol-related infractions. At this year’s event, the new regulations banned all attendees from bringing alcohol onto the premises through the general admission gates. The only locations in which alcohol was permitted were the corporate tents, the catered parties, and the reserved tailgating area.
To help with enforcement of the new policy, a third-party security company, Gateway One Security, was retained to perform operational duties such as checking tickets and directing traffic. The collaboration among Gateway One, the NJ State Police, the local police, and the prosecutor’s office was supplemented by an NJ Transit ban on beverages, intended to limit the number of attendees who were already intoxicated by the time they arrived at the event by train.
Despite efforts to make the 93rd annual “Hunt” more docile than last year’s event, this year’s Far Hills Race saw an increase in arrests and criminal offenses among those in attendance. Alcohol restrictions and additional security procedures intended to prevent many alcohol-related infractions were insufficient, as more people were charged with crimes this year than last.
In 2012, offenses ranging from public urination to disorderly conduct and criminal mischief numbered 28, with three (3) young people being hospitalized for underage drinking. This year, according to Far Hills police, 30 people were charged with public urination, nine (9) people were charged with improper behavior, eight (8) people were charged with offenses related to drugs or drug paraphernalia, six (6) people were charged with disorderly conduct, one (1) person was charged with possessing a false identification card, and one (1) person was charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). In total, 55 people were arrested and charged at this year’s event.
The Tormey Law Firm represented several individuals charged with disorderly conduct at last year’s Far Hills Race. In New Jersey, disorderly conduct is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2. As set forth by the statute, disorderly conduct is classified as a petty disorderly persons offense. A conviction for disorderly conduct can result in jail time of up to 90 days and a $500.00 fine. Last year, the Tormey Law Firm helped multiple individuals charged with disorderly conduct at the Far Hills Race avoid jail time.
For more information on the arrests made at this year’s Far Hills Race, read the DailyRecord.com article entitled “Police Bust 55 People at Far Hills Race for Public Urination, Drugs.”