The owner of a New Jersey gym says he is “ready for the consequences” after reopening his business on Monday. He did so, knowingly defying Gov. Phil Murphy’s stay-at-home order. He “vowed to remain open for the rest of the week after receiving a summons for violating the state lockdown,” reported Fox News.
Smith and Frank Trumbetti are the co-owners of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr. Last week, Smith vowed to reopen the gym while following social distancing guidelines. This led to supporters gathering outside the facility and protesting the governor’s stay-at-home order.
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Local police told Smith that he was violating the state order. An officer told the assembly to “have a nice day,” which let the gym open as planned. However, officers “later returned to the scene and served Smith and Trumbetti with a disorderly conduct summons,” Fox News said in a report.
“I assume that they came back because they received an order from higher up,” Smith said. “Moments earlier, probably a half-an-hour earlier, we had that beautiful exchange with the officers that had been present all day and whom we’ve had nothing but great exchanges with. It has been love and positive all day. With the exception of handing over a summons, it remained that way.”
“I’m sure that their job could have been done better elsewhere,” he added. “I’m sure there were other calls that needed to be handled, you know. For the most part, we were self-reliant and responsible and peaceful.”
According to Smith, people “seemed really energized by this idea that it’s OK to stand up for what you believe in.” He added that we can “get back to being a prosperous nation [while] at the same time, being safe and upholding the ideas of public health and public safety.”