Out of Control! This New Jersey Place Had Nearly 500 COVID-19 Violations and 8 Illegal Businesses Shut Down in One Week!

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It appears that one city in New Jersey has completely ignored Governor Phil Murphy’s COVID-19 executive orders and this week, nearly 500 new summonses were issued to residents and eight non-essential businesses have been shut down.  This city has been a big problem for law enforcement since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and to this day, residents are just not complying.  This city also happens to be ground zero for coronavirus infections in New Jersey with 5,579 cases and a staggering 423 deaths.

You might be thinking right now we’re talking about Lakewood Township where most of the media has been aiming their pens in recent months, but no, we’re talking about Newark, New Jersey, one of the true trouble spots nationwide in the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Newark Police Department’s COVID-19 task force issued 490 summonses for violations of the emergency orders and ordered eight non-essential businesses closed in enforcement actions during the past week, April 24 through 30.

Here are some other Violations of Executive Orders, Including “Stay at Home” Order, and Ordinances

  • Paterson Enforcement. The Paterson Police Department’s issued 21 summonses for violations of the emergency orders in enforcement actions on April 27.
  • Stephanie Hazelton, 48, of Medford, was charged with violating the emergency orders for her role in organizing and participating in a protest at the Capitol Complex in Trenton on April 28. She was served with a complaint-summons at her residence.
  • Christopher Pitts, 38, of West Deptford, was charged on April 25 by the West Deptford Police Department with violating the emergency orders by allowing golfers to play at the golf course he operates, Westwood Golf Course. Police had previously warned Pitts, but found approximately 24 people golfing on the course and sharing golf carts without social distancing.
  • Naman Rafi, 39, of Galloway, was charged by the Galloway Police Department on April 24 with two violations of the emergency orders for opening his business, Tobacco Outlet on Jimmie Leeds Road. Rafi had been warned several times about closing the business.
  • Delvis Rivera, 34, of Newark, was charged on April 24 by the North Arlington Police with violating the emergency orders for cutting hair at the business where he works, Avenue Cuts 34 on Ridge Road. This was the second complaint about the barber shop being open.
  • Zachary Novosellar, 62, of Lakewood, was charged on April 28 by the Lakewood Police for hosting an engagement party at his residence on 14th Street. Police found 25 to 30 cars parked on the street and approximately 20 people standing in front of the residence, without social distancing. Novosellar said he arranged for the parties to meet to pick up engagement gifts.
  • John C Bigham, 46, of Chatham, was charged on April 28 with violating the emergency orders by holding a large birthday party for his wife. Police found a gathering of 25 to 30 people congregating and drinking on his front lawn. The crowd dispersed once the police came.
  • Miran Lee, 44, of Passaic, was cited twice by the Passaic Police Department, on April 29 and April 30, for violating the emergency orders by opening her massage business on Brook Avenue, which operates under the names Sky Spa, Ohangs and New Asian Massage.
  • Janice Lauria, 52, of Point Pleasant, was charged by the Point Pleasant Police on April 28 with violating the emergency orders by ignoring repeated warnings from the police and allowing individuals to exercise in the gym she owns on Route 88, Anytime Fitness.

Violation of the emergency orders is a disorderly persons offense carrying a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Such violations are charged by summons, without arrest.