BELLMAWR, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has focused his attention to a defiant South Jersey gym owner who is openly defying his executive order and has escalated his war against small business owners struggling to survive. Atilis Gym’s reopening appeared to be on a good note Monday when local police officers arrived and simply issued a warning. That goodwill ended quickly as hours laters higher-up returned, presumably under the pressure of Governor Murphy returned to issue summonses to the owners.
On Tuesday, after the governor threatened to tighten his grip against small business owners, police and protesters arrived once again, this time, local police issued summonses and even arrested one man as he exited the gym after his workout. On Day 3, police followed gym patrons home and pulled gym owners over. Police also began charging supporters, including Ayla Wolf, who was charged with organizing the protest
Today, Murphy ordered the New Jersey Health Department to shut the gym down. “It’s a gross abuse of power,” said owner Ian Smith.
The health department notice said that no members of the public shall be permitted inside the building.
A GoFundMe account has been set up for the gym. That account has so far raised $40,000, but it has been reported to GoFundMe as an illegal fundraiser and is currently under review.
The Department of Health placed an embargo notice on the facility’s window. Under New Jersey law, whenever an agent of the State Department or of a local board of health finds, or has probable cause to believe, that any food, drug, device, or cosmetic is adulterated or so misbranded as to be dangerous or fraudulent within the meaning of this subtitle, he shall affix to such article a tag or other appropriate marking, giving notice that such article is, or is suspected of being, adulterated or misbranded and has been detained or embargoed, and warning all persons not to remove or dispose of such article by sale or otherwise until permission for removal or disposal is given by such agent or the court. It shall be unlawful for any person to remove or dispose of such detained or embargoed article by sale or otherwise without such permission.
The City of Bellmawr, according to reports has also shut water services to the business, causing a sewer backup in the building. That sewer backup led to local Camden County Health officials issuing more violations to the owner.