BELLMAWR, NJ — Sheriff’s officers on Monday arrested both owners of a Bellmawr gym, which has not followed Gov. Phil Murphy’s COVID-19 order to shut down and subsequently remained open despite a judge's ruling last week.
“The owners of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr were arrested and released early Monday morning after continuing to operate their business despite a judge issuing a contempt order against them on Friday,” Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill Mayer’s office said.
Ian Smith, 33, of Delanco Township, and Frank Trumbetti, 51, of Williamstown, have been charged with one count of fourth-degree contempt, one count of obstruction, and one count of Violation of a Disaster Control Act (both disorderly persons summons).
When police arrived this morning, they found the owners, who were hunkered down inside the gym since last week, operating on the premises despite a July 24 court order from Honorable Judge Robert T. Lougy.
According to the authorities, a number of individuals were observed entering and using the gym from July 24 to July 27, which violated the court order. Upon arrival, police said, Smith and Trumbetti refused to leave the gym when they were asked — leading to the charges.
The owners were not available for comment. However, in an online statement Monday they wrote: “Welcome to America 2020, where feeding your family and standing up for your constitutional rights is illegal…They took Frank and I away and boarded up our private place of business. This is gonna be fun in court. If this doesn’t alarm you, you’re part of the problem.”
A video of the arrest was posted online: