FORKED RIVER, NJ – “They just shut our doors, locked us out and that’s it.”
That’s how a small business owner in Forked River described a law enforcement task force that showed up at his business and shut it down.
Ocean County Sheriff Michael Mastronardy’s department led the operation against a diner in Forked River in the early morning hours on Friday. News 12 crews were present at the scene after interviewing owner Brian Brindisi yesterday. Mastronardy’s strike force arrived before dawn with a locksmith in two during the operation to change the locks at the Lakeside Diner. The diner has been tried and convicted by Governor Phil Murphy of serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The sentence was an immediate forced closure. Several police officers from the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department and Lacey Township Police Department escorted the locksmith to lock the owner out of his business.
“It’s just an executive order, it’s not a law,” Brindisi told News 12. “An executive order does not override our constitution.”
Brindisi said that instead of shutting him down, the state should have used his business as a role model of success. Since June he has been serving meals to customers indoors. No cases of COVID-19 have been reported due to his continued operation.
“What am I supposed to do? I worked 30 years to get where I am in life,” he added. “I’m not going to let somebody just come in and shut me down.”
He said he’s going to remain open and keep serving his customers.
“Nobody should have that type of power,” he said.
Photo: New12, Facebook Video.