Bellmawr gym owners who defied governor’s order charged with contempt

By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The owners of a South Jersey gym that opened in defiance of Gov. Phil Murphy’s coronavirus order were arrested Monday morning at their facility on contempt of court charges. 

Police say Ian Smith, 33, and Frank Trumbetti, 51, refused to leave Atilis Gym in Bellmawr when officers asked them to. They were arrested and each charged with contempt, obstruction, and violation of a Disaster Control Act.

Police also boarded up the entrance to the gym.

On Friday, a Superior Court judge ordered the gym to close — even allowing locks on the doors or barriers to ensure compliance — but police say customers were seen entering and using the gym over the weekend.

The gym reopened its doors in May, starting a legal battle over whether Murphy's order for non-essential businesses to remain closed was constitutional. It continued to operate despite receiving summonses each day for violating the state order. Crowds of people often showed up to show support for the gym.

However, gyms in New Jersey have remained ordered closed.

The gym owners have said they have taken steps to ensure social distancing, including taping off workout stations and operating at 20% of the building's capacity, meaning about 44 patrons at a time. They also were requiring patrons to wear masks unless they were in the middle of lifting weights, and taking patrons' temperature at the door.

Smith and Trumbetti were processed at police headquarters and released later Monday morning. They and their attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.