Defiant Bellmawr Gym Opens for 2nd Day, Cops Just Give Tickets Again
BELMAWR — Atilis Gym opened for a second day in defiance of Gov. Phil Murphy's executive order prohibiting non-essential businesses from opening.
Like Monday, police issued the owners citations, did not arrest anybody and allowed the gym to continue operating.
Police Chief William Walsh said Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti were charged Tuesday morning with a violation of the governor's executive order, a misdemeanor. No customers or workers were charged, Walsh said in an email.
The Camden County gym opened on Monday with about 200 people gathered in the parking lot to show support. The gym took temperatures of members and informed them about the safety rules before letting them inside.
Police addressed the crowd around 10:30 a.m. Monday, telling them they were in violation of the executive order. Police told them to "stay safe and have a nice day" and left without taking names or issuing summonses.
Smith and Trumbetti were each issued a disorderly persons offense summons, which carries a fine of up to $1,000.
Murphy on Monday vaguely warning people against returning on Tuesday.
"If you show up at that gym tomorrow there's going to be a different reality that what was shown today. These aren't just words. We've gotta enforce this but I also don't want to start World War III and I'm not worried about that right now," Murphy said.
Shortly after arriving at the gym on Tuesday, Trumbetti told Fox 29's Steve Keeley that he was scared.
“Everyone who comes down here today be prepared for the possibility of Mr. Murphy to flex and know that if you walk into Atilis Gym feeling like a normal human being you're probably going to be potentially arrested," Trumbetti said.
A smaller crowd than Monday gathered in the parking lot as members began to arrive for the gym's 8 a.m. opening, according to video posted to Twitter by 6 ABC reporter Katherine Scott.
Smith told Fox & Friends on Tuesday morning that they are aware of the risks of opening. Smith said his lawyer has agreed to represent any gym members who are arrested or fined.
A GoFundMe page created by gym member Adam Sikora to help Smith and Trumbetti, their staff and any members who are fined because the gym is open.