Two New Jersey gym owners were arrested Monday for failing to comply with Governor Phil Murphy‘s order which restricts gyms from operating indoors amid the pandemic. Friday, a New Jersey judge ordered Atilis Gym to cease operations after they resumed business indoors, but owners Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti stayed at the gym and continued operations until they were arrested. They have since been released but were charged with three counts including violation of a disaster control act. They could potentially be sentenced up to 6 months in jail. The owners are appealing the decision, and Smith stated, “We will not be backing down under any circumstances.”
Atilis Gym owners cited for re-opening against Governor Phil Murphy’s order say it’ll get thrown out because “it’s unconstitutional”. They plan to open every day and “will accept new clients”. @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/cwT931MeBD— Alecia Reid (@alecia__reid) May 18, 2020
The Left is in support of the governor, state attorney general, and judge. A spokesperson for the attorney general said that they had not wanted the situation to escalate and lead to arrests but were left with no other option. It is argued that authorities are simply taking measures to protect public health in New Jersey as COVID-19 case numbers rise across the country.
“Today’s ruling underscores that companies cannot disregard the Governor’s Executive Orders, which are designed to protect us all in the face of an unprecedented public health crisis.”New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal
Gov. Phil Murphy said in a press conference that New Jersey is simply not ready for certain activities.
The Right is in support of the business owners. Many believe that the government’s actions extend “too far and for too long” beyond their authority. Smith has made multiple appearances on Fox News, and their gym has raised over $100,000 from fans and supporters, as well as gained national recognition for the owners’ stance and actions. Tucker Carlson commented, “Too bad he’s not an abortion clinic or liquor store or he’d have no problem at all” staying open.
“Welcome to America 2020, where feeding your family and standing up for your Constitutional rights is illegal…This is gonna be fun in court. If this doesn’t alarm you, you’re part of the problem.”Ian Smith, 33, co-owner of Atilis Gym
Smith also defended the police officers involved, saying it “doesn’t change our relationship with local or any law enforcement…we understand that at the end of the day they were doing their jobs.”