NJ Gym Owner Given Sentence Over Disobeying Covid Lockdown

NJ Gym Owner Given Sentence Over Disobeying Covid Lockdown

The owner of the Atilis Gym in New Jersey has been sentenced to one year of probation after physically removing the doors of his gym to avoid being locked out of the building, CBS reports.

Ian Smith, whose gym made headlines throughout the pandemic for remaining open during several lockdowns, took to Twitter on Thursday to make the announcement. “Thanks to all who joined in our sentencing hearing. So many came that the server crashed,” he tweeted.

“We got one-year probation for the crime of taking our doors off to prevent government goons from locking us out of our gym.” Smith assured that the Atilis Gym will “remain open at any cost.”

Smith was previously fined with a hefty $1.2 million after defying orders of Democratic Governor Phil Murphy, in what Smith called a “f*** you” to the mandates. The gym’s owners (Smith and co-owner Frank Trumbetti) sued to get their business license reinstated by Camden County, though Superior Court Judge Deborah Silverman Katz dismissed the lawsuit in December of last year.

According to New Jersey 1015, the “license was not unreasonable or arbitrary, as it was based on the gym’s failure to comply with a trio of orders invoking public safety, over a several month span. Those included the executive order issued by Gov. Phil Murphy on restricted businesses during the public health crisis, a Department of Health order and a previous judge’s order.”

“While plaintiffs may disagree with the law and the resulting license revocation, subjective belief does not constitute an unfair outcome,” Silverman Katz wrote in her opinion. “We are disappointed with the decision but not surprised,” the gym’s attorney said in a statement.

In response, Smith tweeted: “Stop negotiating your freedom with terrorists dressed in suits who wear an American flag pin on their lapel. The issue is non-negotiable. Any form of compliance is a loss. If it takes walking away from your job to secure your freedom, then so be it. It is worth it.”

Smith had previously made headlines for giving free gym memberships to the unvaccinated, in response to a Krispy Kreme’s promotion of giving a free donut for those who got inoculated.


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