New Jersey Gym-Goer Arrested as Bellmawr Fitness Center Defies Stay-at-Home Order

A patron of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, New Jersey, was arrested by police on May 19 — the second day of the gym’s self-declared reopening despite COVID-19 lockdown orders from Gov Phil Murphy, reports said.

Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Ellie Rushing said police cited the man for breaking the governor’s emergency stay-at-home order and police obstruction. News reports said he refused to give his name and information to the police, and was arrested.

A crowd of people gathered outside the Atilis Gym on the previous day, Monday, May 18, for the first day its owners declared it reopened. The police arrived and told everyone present that they were in violation of the governor’s orders but did not make any arrests.

Police later served owners Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti citations for disorderly conduct and said that anyone who showed up at the gym the following day would face a “different reality” as they would have to enforce the order, reports said.

Video filmed by Sharyn von Tennedy shows the man being put in handcuffs and escorted into a Bellmawr Police vehicle in the parking lot.

According to Johns Hopkins University, 10,587 people in New Jersey have died from COVID-19, the second-highest number of any US state (after New York). Credit: Sharyn von Tennedy via Storyful