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'We'll See Them In Court': Prosecutor Slams Jersey City Bars For Overcrowding, No Masks

Jersey City Chief Prosecutor Jake Hudnut posted a video of the scene at Bistro last weekend. Photo Credit: Jersey City Chief Prosecutor Jake Hudnut
Jersey City Chief Prosecutor Jake Hudnut posted a video of the scene inside The Factory last weekend. Photo Credit: Jersey City Chief Prosecutor Jake Hudnut

A Jersey City official has taken to Twitter to call out Jersey City bars for allowing overcrowding and failing to enforce the use of face masks.

The Factory "regularly violated COVID restrictions throughout the pandemic," Jersey City Chief Prosecutor Jake Hudnut said in a tweet. Hudnut also tweeted a video of crowds gathered at Bistro.

"This is 1 example of many pics/videos we’ve been sent about overcrowding at Bistro. Officers address it, but the moment they leave the Bistro lets more people in," Hudnut said. 

"If this continues tonight: summonses will be issued and I will request all outdoor permits be revoked."

Daily Voice was unable to reach The Bistro Wednesday afternoon.

Police have already made two stops at The Factory, ticketing hundreds of patrons who were not wearing a mask.

Police on Saturday responded to a call of a disorderly group of fighting outside of the Communipaw Avenue restaurant, and noticed many people inside, Hudnut said -- despite indoor dining being prohibited in New Jersey.

Then, Sunday night, the Jersey City Quality of Life police responding to the bar on reports of a party being held indoors found hundreds of people inside and a DJ, Hudnut said.

"We'll see them in court," Hudnut Tweeted Monday, June 29. "We've had issues there before: noise, fire exits blocked, etc. Some businesses think they have connections that put them above the law. Nope."

Hudnut thanked those who continue to keep rules and restrictions in mind while gathering in public.

The Factory owner Robert Paulino was issued police summonses both nights. A bartender who answered the phone told NJ.com The Factory was being singled out, while dozens of other Jersey City bars were violating the same rules.

"As a bar-goer, you have responsibility. Ignorance is not bliss. PERIOD," Hudnut wrote on Twitter. "Don't congregate with your friends at the bar. Keep a social distance from other patrons. Wear a face covering when you're not eating or drinking. LEAVE if you feel uncomfortable.”

The possible punishment for receiving a citation due to not wearing a mask includes a fine of up to $2,000, community service and jail time.

"We’ll prosecute any business that puts profit over public health," Hudnut said.

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