N.J. Gym Owner Cleared of More Than 80 Charges After Rejecting COVID Lockdown

(Bryan R. Smith/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 May 2024 02:10 PM EDT ET

Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey, owner Ian Smith kept his business open despite Gov. Phil Murphy's COVID-19 lockdown and has finally been cleared of all charges, his attorney announced Tuesday.

Smith, along with co-owner Frank Trumbetti, were hit with more than 80 summonses and charged with violating a governor's orders, operating without a mercantile license, creating a public nuisance, and disturbing the peace, Lehigh Valley Live reported.

Many of the charges also carried up to six months in jail, according to Smith's attorney, John McCann.

The gym had been ordered to pay about $165,000 in state fines for violating the public health emergency rules issued by Murphy and state Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli, according to the report.

The two gym owners faced state and municipal cases. McCann said now that the local charges have been dismissed he is trying to determine if the state fines can be refunded.

"When you look at this, it didn't make a lot of sense at the time," McCann said. "It kind of looked like they were throwing everything they could at these guys."

Meanwhile Smith took to posting on X to celebrate his victory: "4 years ago today, we reopened Atilis Gym in direct violation of an unconstitutional order by Governor Philip Murphy to close small businesses in New Jersey.

"The support we received locally, nationally, and internationally for our stand is something I will be forever grateful for.

"With that being said, I am thrilled to announce that we have achieved a major victory in the long, hard fight against the state.

"ALL OF THE 80+ municipal citations of violations of a governor's order, public nuisance, disturbing the peace, and operating without a license against us have been dropped by the courts WITH prejudice. This means the State has NO ability to revisit or refile these charges. This victory opens the battlefield again and gives us options to continue to push back and bring justice to the treasonous actions of Phil Murphy and his lackies."

He ended it with an obscene directive aimed at Murphy.

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Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey, owner Ian Smith kept his business open despite Gov. Phil Murphy's COVID-19 lockdown and has finally been cleared of all charges, his attorney announced Tuesday.
new jersey, gym, owner, covid-19, lockdown, mandates, social distancing, charges, exoneration
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2024-10-21
Tuesday, 21 May 2024 02:10 PM
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