State Watch

New Jersey gym defies governor’s order by opening second day in a row

Fox 29 Philadelphia

A gym in New Jersey opened its doors for the second day in a row on Tuesday after attracting attention from state and local authorities for defying restrictions on nonessential businesses.

Gym members lined up several hours before 8 a.m. Tuesday outside Atilis gym in Camden County before local authorities showed up shortly after 10 a.m., requesting crowds to disburse and threatening charges against those who did not, FOX 29 in Philadelphia reported

The gym’s owners, Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti, said keeping their business open is not about earning money but is about raising concerns over constitutional rights, according to the TV station.

“They are going to have to take other steps to shut us down. We are not shutting down,” Trumbetti said.

Smith and Trumbetti have now received two court summons for being open against state orders, one for Monday and another for Tuesday.

State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan also said on Monday that clients were issued warnings.

Trumbetti told FOX 29 Tuesday morning that he was “scared” about warnings from police and the governor. 

“If you’re coming to Atilis to work out today, be prepared to be arrested,” he said.

He also encouraged other businesses to take a stance and reopen early, but said that they should be “compliant” with social-distancing measures.

Atilis is operating the facility at 20 percent capacity, enforcing temperature checks upon entry, and requiring mask use unless a member is performing a strenuous workout, such as lifting weights.

At the gym’s reopening on Monday, supporters and clients held American flags and others carried signs criticizing Gov. Phil Murphy (D), FOX 29 reported.

Murphy said Monday that he was not concerned other businesses would reopen against state orders, citing that New Jersey would be taking measures to begin reopening soon, the TV station noted.

The governor did threaten he would take harder actions against the gym if it reopened again on Tuesday, saying, “If you show up at that gym again tomorrow, there’s going to be a different reality than showing up today. These aren’t just words. We’ve got to enforce this, but I also don’t want to start World War III.”


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