Summonses issued at two large gatherings in Lakewood this week underscore the lengths to which law enforcement will go to protect New Jerseyans from the spread of the coronavirus, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said Wednesday.
A Lakewood homeowner on Tuesday continued an outdoor wedding attended by a large group of people in a tent despite police efforts to break things up, Grewal said.
It wasn't until they issued a summons to Meir T. Gruskin, 37, for violating Gov. Phil Murphy's executive order banning gatherings that the crowd finally dispersed, the attorney general said.
A little over three hours later, police found more than two dozen boys and men gathered at the Cheder Bnei Torah school on Main Street, Grewal said.
They told the school’s headmaster, Abraham Bursztyn, 48, that he was violating the emergency order and issued him a summons charging him with maintaining a nuisance, a disorderly persons offense, he said.
Grewal also cited a house party Saturday night on Lanning Avenue in Penns Grove, where some of the more than 30 attendees recorded and posted YouTube videos.
Police crashed the party and charged the host, Jacquon Jones, 37, with violating the governor's order, he said.
"ALL gatherings are cancelled," Murphy said on Saturday after signing the executive order, which forced non-essential retail businesses closed eliminated any place people could gather for any reason in response to the crisis.
"Any place where people congregate is a place where coronavirus can spread," the governor said.
Anyone who refuses to comply with any part of Murphy's order executive order "will face criminal charges " Grewal vowed.
“Our first responders should not be expending their limited personal protective equipment and putting themselves at risk by breaking up large gatherings like they did twice yesterday in Lakewood and over the weekend in Salem County,” he said Wednesday.
"That’s why we’ve charged these three individuals and will charge anyone else who threatens public health by holding large gatherings during this emergency," Grewal said. "Our message is clear: Stay home!”
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