The owners of Atilis Gym, a gym in Bellmawr, NJ that was ordered by a New Jersey judge to close immediately, have been arrested on charges of contempt of court after refusing to comply.
Since it first defied the state and decided to reopen 2 months ago, the gym has become a local fixation, attracting protesters sympathetic with its cause. The report below, published earlier today, includes footage from some rallies that have been held at the gym.
Gym owners Ian Smith, 33, of Delanco Township, and Frank Trumbetti, 51, of Williamstown were charged with contempt of court, along with violating a disaster control act, according to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office.
The owners of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr were arrested and released early Monday morning after continuing to operate their business despite a judge issuing a contempt order against them on Friday, according to Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer.
Ian Smith, 33, of Delanco Township, and Frank Trumbetti, 51, of Williamstown, are charged with one count of fourth-degree Contempt, one count of Obstruction, and one count of Violation of a Disaster Control Act, both disorderly persons summons.
On July 24, the Honorable Judge Robert T. Lougy, issued a court order for Trumbetti and Smith to vacate the gym and cease operations.
From July 24 through July 27, a number of individuals were observed entered and using the gym, a direct violation of the court order.
Trumbetti and Smith were transported to the Bellmawr Police Department where they were charged and released.
All persons charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
The gym owners have become a cause celebre in the movement to oppose lockdowns.
In other local news, dozens of New Jersey lifeguards have now tested positive for COVID-19, as public health officials worry about an outbreak focused around some of the state’s beaches. Inspired in part by this string of infections, states from Connecticut to Rhode Island have ordered beaches to close to out-of-state residents, according to ABC News.
More than two dozen lifeguards from two New Jersey beach towns have tested positive for the coronavirus after having been together socially, authorities said.
Officials said the lifeguards are from Harvey Cedars and Surf City, neighboring boroughs on Long Beach Island.
Mayor Jonathan Oldham of Harvey Cedars said island health officials alerted the borough to the cluster Thursday and the lifeguards were being quarantined until they are cleared by doctors. Long Beach Island’s health director said the guards were apparently together at two “social gatherings” earlier this month.
Harvey Cedars said Saturday that 17 lifeguards, all of whom had “attended a party in Surf City,” had tested positive for COVID-19. The island’s health director earlier said a dozen Surf City lifeguards had tested positive.
Harvey Cedars said on its website that it has 73 lifeguards and therefore “our beaches will remain fully staffed with all safety protocols in place.” Surf City said its beaches “will remain protected from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily” but “adjustments may be made from day to day to ensure the safety of all patrons and guards.”
New Jersey officials earlier announced more than 500 new positive COVID-19 cases and an additional 11 deaths confirmed as associated with the virus, bringing the total number of deaths associated with the virus in the state to 13,867.
In a post on the gym’s Facebook page published Monday morning, Smith attacked NJ Gov Phil Murphy for “flexing his little tyrant muscles.”
Despite the life guard infections, Murphy has continued to allow all protest-related activities to continue without any restrictions, even joining the marchers in person on occasion.
Maybe they can hook the governor up with a membership when all this is said and done?