This is old news but important to archive. I’m too angry to add to the story at all where small business commerce is interrupted.
I am frustrated that we are so cowed that the public-at-large do not meet the police there and give them the ultimatum. I guess not everywhere can be Owosso, Michigan, ready to defend a Karl Manke.
Archive link, “Owners of Bellmawr’s Atilis Gym arrested for defying state orders”: https://archive.vn/HKIla
BELLMAWR, New Jersey (WPVI) — The owners of a New Jersey gym that repeatedly defied Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order to remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic were arrested Monday.
On Monday, Frank Trumbetti, 51, and Ian Smith, 33, were each charged with one count of fourth-degree contempt, one count of obstruction and one count of violation of a disaster control act. They have both since been released.
A state judge ruled Friday that New Jersey authorities could shut down Atilis Gym, in Bellmawr.
Smith said in a video posted on Facebook Friday that he would remain at the gym and that “we will not back down under any circumstances.”
Christopher Arzberger, an attorney representing the owners, said they were “disappointed that this motion for contempt was granted, however we do respect the judge’s decision and will be taking all necessary steps to see if there is an issue of appeal here.”
The gym opened its doors in May, starting a legal battle over whether Murphy’s order for non-essential businesses to remain closed was constitutional. It continued to operate despite receiving summonses each day for violating the state order. Crowds of people often showed up to show their support for the gym.
Last week, Murphy allowed outdoor drills for contact sports to resume, as well as one-on-one indoor martial arts and yoga instruction. But gyms remained ordered closed.
The gym owners have said they have taken steps to ensure social distancing, including taping off workout stations and operating at 20% of the building’s capacity, meaning about 44 patrons at a time. They also were requiring patrons to wear masks unless they were in the middle of lifting weights, and taking patrons’ temperature at the door.
“We understand our clients’ concerns,” Arzberger said. “Small businesses have been under fire lately and we want to make sure all small businesses have an opportunity to be heard.”