Lakewood Toy Store With 50 People Among Shore Gatherings Broken-up
Several Jersey Shore residents and businesses have been charged for holding large gatherings or violating another of Governor Phil Murphy's executive orders aimed at preventing the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
New Jersey State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan announced enforcement actions against violators of Governor Murphy’s Emergency Orders related to COVID-19.
- On Sunday in Lakewood, police found a large gathering of adults and children who were congregated in the backyard of a home. The children were playing in a bouncy castle. The adults had a long table set up with a tablecloth, some plates, utensils and chairs nearby. There was also a chef and two waiters there to cater the gathering. As a result, Mendel Steiner, 27, Dina Endzweig, 26, Johnathan Schick, 31, Hindy Schick, 32, Ephraim Weiss, 31, and Chaya Weiss, 29, all of Brooklyn, N.Y., were charged with violating the emergency orders and child neglect. Israel Goldenberg, 23, of Monsey, N.Y., was charged with violating the emergency orders.
- On Monday in Lakewood, police found about 50 people or more gathered outside the Toys4U store. The owner, Yossi Itzkowitz and the manager of the toy store, Tzvi Blau, were charged with violating the emergency orders for their business. One of the employees was taking orders at the door. The parking lot was completely packed with 10 cars parked in the fire lane in front of the store. AG Grewal and Colonel Callahan report that customers were not social distancing or wearing masks and there were 10 employees in the store who were not social distancing. Only three wore masks.
- On Saturday, April, 11 in Point Pleasant Beach, the operators of the Beach Amethyst Motel, John Fernicola, 68, of Brielle, and Amanda Wood, 34, of Point Pleasant Beach, were charged with four violations of the emergency orders for shutting off power to four tenants for late payments.
- On Sunday, April 12, in Seaside Park, Konstanti Apessos Jr., 21, of Manchester, was charged with defiant trespass (petty disorderly persons offense) and violating the emergency orders for sitting on a lifeguard stand on the beach reading a book. Police say that Apessos Jr. admitted that he knew the beach was closed.
- On Sunday, April 12, in Seaside Park, Jose Gonzalez, 20, and Gildaro Flores-Mendez, 30, both of New Brunswick, were charged with defiant trespass (petty disorderly persons offense) and violating the emergency orders for walking and taking pictures at the Brighton Avenue beach entrance, which they knew was closed. AG Grewal and Colonel Callahan said that they were with two juveniles.
“Our police officers are working bravely and tirelessly every day to protect us during this health crisis. Regrettably, they are being called upon far too often to deal with people violating the emergency orders— or what is more egregious, people using the virus to spread fear or impede officers in their vital work,” Attorney General Grewal said. “Staying home and maintaining social distance isn’t just the best advice to stay healthy, it’s the law. Make no mistake, we will do everything in our power to keep our residents and officers safe, and that means we won’t hesitate to file charges against violators.”
“Law enforcement and medical professionals are on the frontlines of this battle to protect the citizens of New Jersey from the COVID-19 virus, and we cannot stress enough how important it is that each person follow the guidelines set forth in the Executive Order,” Colonel Patrick Callahan said. “Because lives are at stake, enforcement action will be taken without hesitation against those who are blatantly placing the lives of others at risk.”
Violations of the emergency orders constitute a disorderly persons offense carrying a potential sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Violators can also potentially face criminal charges including second, third, and fourth degree indictable offenses.
Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
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