It look like a case of he said, she said.

A Manahawkin health club supposedly asked police to remove a club member from the premises after he prayed with another club member who was experiencing pain.

The online newspaper TapInTo has the story of the incident that occurred at Retro Fitness in Manawhakin on March 21st:

Retro Fitness club member and Long Beach Township resident Craig Fasler was escorted by a member of the Stafford Township Police Department out of the gym because an employee accused him of sharing his faith in public.

According to the article, Fasler prayed with a man in the locker room, then spoke with another man about his Christian faith. Fasler then saw that second man talking to a female near the club's front desk, and reportedly told the woman, "ask him about Jesus removing the pain from his back and knee."

The article states what happened next:

The worker said to Fasler "you are not allowed to speak about religion here. I am an atheist and you are not allowed to talk about religion and mention the name Jesus in here."

Fasler responded “I was not talking about religion, but a person, Jesus.”

The employee called the owner who instructed her to call the Stafford Township Police.

The police arrived and Fasler was escorted out by a Stafford officer.

This is where the story turns, in that Retro Fitness, on the local club's Facebook page, posted the following statement:

Retro members
An incident did occur in our facility today, and a "version" of the incident has been published in a local media outlet. It is NOT an accurate account of what happened and I just want all of our members to know our Owners, myself and the entire staff are extremely proud of the diversity of our membership base. No age, sex, religious group or ethnicity is looked at any different from any other. We pride ourselves in being extremely polite, respectful and courteous to ALL members and guests, and will continue to do so going forward.

That post occurred the night of the above-mentioned incident. The next morning, this was posted on the Retro Fitness Facebook page:

Retro members- We were and are still in the process of gathering all facts regarding this issue.

We learned of an article that was published in the Tap Into Stafford-LBI. We are continuing to gather facts but wanted to let you know that our members' safety is a number one priority at our gym. In response to some claims in the article, after learning of a potential incident involving certain members, one of our employees contacted local police to ensure that the concerns were properly and appropriately addressed by the authorities. We respect everyone's freedom to express themselves however they choose to and first and foremost we support our members' rights to feel safe and secure while they are using our facilities.

Signed,

Retro Fitness Manahawkin

According to a story on Townsquare Media's New Jersey 101.5 website, Stafford Township Police did not charge Fasler, and consider the matter closed.

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