NEW JERSEY-New Jersey isn’t quite the epicenter of America’s coronavirus outbreak, but as normal, the state is New York’s ugly step brother in pretty much everything it does, even when it comes to a global pandemic. New Jersey is second in the nation when it comes to incidents of coronavirus cases and in that “coronapocalypse” a new genre of crime is also evolving. Here’s 5 things you probably shouldn’t do in New Jersey during the coronavirus outbreak.
Claiming you have coronavirus to get out of a ticket. We’re all seen the memes with a driver holding up a paper saying, “I have the coronavirus” at a traffic stop. Guess what? That doesn’t work.
- On March 12, Lea Piazza, 28, was charged with false public alarm and motor vehicle offenses after falsely claiming to be infected with the coronavirus during a DWI arrest in Hanover Township.
- On March 27, in Hazlet, state troopers charged Travis Urban, 30, with obstruction and hindering apprehension or prosecution for allegedly falsely claiming he had the coronavirus to try to avoid charges after being involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Using your body fluids as a weapon. This is never a good idea, but in the new era of lockdowns and a global pandemic, this is a sure way to find yourself spending a day in the now empty New Jersey county jail system.
- On March 16, Jennifer Burgess allegedly spit on officers in Dunellen, claiming to have tested positive for COVID-19. She was charged with throwing bodily fluid at a law enforcement officer and second-degree terroristic threats.
- On March 20, Zachary Hagin, 33, was charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, and endangering for allegedly spitting on a police officer in Gloucester Township and claiming to have the coronavirus.
- On March 20, Marina N. Bishara-Rhone, 22, allegedly coughed directly on an officer during a domestic violence incident in River Edge, saying she had the virus and she hoped he was now infected. She was charged with endangering and throwing bodily fluid at a law enforcement officer.
- On March 21, David Haley, 52, was charged in Middlesex County with throwing bodily fluid at a law enforcement officer and second-degree terroristic threats. He claimed to be infected with the coronavirus.
- On March 24, George Falcone, 50, was charged with terroristic threats, obstruction, and harassment for allegedly purposely coughing on an employee at the Wegmans store in Manalapan and refusing to cooperate with a police officer.
- On March 25, Raymond Ricciardi, 51, was arrested in New Providence on domestic violence charges. He allegedly stated that he was infected with the coronavirus and started to cough at police and medical personnel. He was charged with obstruction and harassment.
- On March 25, in Lakewood, Juan Gomez Sanchez was charged with a disorderly persons offense for purposely coughing at a liquor store and claiming he was infected with the coronavirus.
Faking coronavirus to shut down your school. College students are ingenious, but when they use the plague to shut down your local college, things get real. Not to mention, schools all shut down a day or two later anyway.
- On March 17, Nicole A. Ayvaz, 23, was arrested in Belleville and charged with false public alarm for allegedly calling emergency dispatchers and claiming she had the coronavirus to try to get Essex County College to close. She did not have the virus.
Host a large party. At first this wasn’t a problem, but now New Jersey police are cracking down hard people who violate the order prohibiting large gatherings.
- On March 20, Shaul Kuperwasser, 43, was charged with maintaining a nuisance for holding a wedding in Lakewood the previous day, March 19, in violation of the emergency order prohibiting large gatherings.
- On March 20, Eliyohu S. Zaks, 49, was charged with maintaining a nuisance for holding a wedding in Lakewood in violation of the emergency order prohibiting large gatherings.
- On March 21, Jacquon Jones, 37, was charged with disorderly conduct for holding a large party in Penns Grove in violation of the emergency order prohibiting large gatherings.
- On March 24 in Lakewood, police charged Meir T. Gruskin, 37, with a disorderly persons offense for holding a wedding at his home in violation of the emergency orders.
- On March 25 in Lakewood, police charged Abraham Bursztyn, 48, with maintaining a nuisance, in violation of the emergency order prohibiting large gatherings, for holding a gathering of approximately 25 young men at the school where he is headmaster.
Operate a non-essential business. You might find yourself in trouble if you try to keep your non-essential business open, but police officers don’t necessarily enjoy being lied to.
- On March 26, police in Washington Township, Warren County, charged David Merring, 62, owner of Rack and Roll Billiards Hall, with obstruction of the administration of law for keeping his business open in violation of the emergency order. He was previously warned about opening during the emergency and closed down. He re-opened and had customers inside when police arrived.
Commit crime. Crimes now come with an additional penalty. Not only will you be charged with your crime, but you can also be charged with violating the stay at home order.
- On March 22, Adrienne Morris, 34, was charged in Gloucester Township after he allegedly went out drinking with a friend and crashed his car. He was charged with DWI, reckless driving, and a disorderly persons offense for violating the stay at home order.
- On March 24, in Waterford, Carmen J. Fasanella, 25, allegedly went to the home of another woman and assaulted her. She was charged with aggravated assault, harassment, and a disorderly persons offense for violating the stay at home order.
- On March 24, the Jersey City Police Department charged multiple individuals who were loitering as a group outside an apartment building. Three juveniles were charged with defiant trespass, failure to disperse, and disorderly persons offenses related to the emergency orders.
- On March 24, David C. Morris, 54, allegedly told New Jersey state troopers in Sussex County that he had the coronavirus in an attempt to avoid arrest after a motor vehicle stop. He was charged with DWI.
- On March 25, Karley A. Rosell, 24, of Pitman, was charged in a domestic violence incident with leaving her home and allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at her boyfriend’s residence. It did not detonate. She was charged with arson and weapons offenses, as well as a disorderly persons offense for violating the stay at home order.
- On March 27, Piscataway Police charged four individuals, Yu Han, 20, Xiaonuo Shi, 18, Chenyu Yang, 19, and Roukai Wang, 19, with disorderly persons offenses for violating the emergency orders and criminal mischief for allegedly drag racing and doing donuts in a school parking lot.