PARSIPPANY-TROY HILLS, NJ – The owner of a Parsippany-Troy Hills vape shop this week found himself on the wrong side of Gov. Phil Murphy’s shutdown of non-essential businesses , even after he was given a break the first time he was found illegally open, said authorities.
When police first noticed the Puff City store on Route 46 was open despite the governor’s order, store owner Sadik Kocauglu, 40, of Lafayette, was given a warning but not cited, said the state Attorney General’s Office.
But Kocauglu apparently did not take the warning seriously, the office asserted. “Although he was warned before, police found customers in the shop purchasing vape products,” it said.
Kocauglu was charged April 23 with violating the emergency order, a disorderly person offense carrying a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, said the state. He was one of many businesses and individuals similarly charged since Murphy imposed the closure orders as a way to slow the spread of COVID-19.
“We’re cracking down on those who jeopardize public health and undermine public safety,” said Attorney General Gurbir Grewal in a statement. “We have zero patience for those who spit on cops, gouge prices or try to exploit this pandemic for their personal gain.”
State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan praised the law enforcement and medical professionals who are “on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19,” and pointed out “the extraordinary resolve and fortitude of New Jersey citizens who are doing their part day in and day out, abiding by the executive orders and sacrificing for the greater good.”