Coronavirus crime: These 29 people have been busted in NJ
Fake cases of COVID-19, spitting on police and illegal gatherings of people are among a growing list of dozens of violations of
Gov. Phil Murphy's "stay at home" executive order and other crimes related to the pandemic.
A list of the violators was released Friday night by Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. Details on the cases, some of which were previously reported by New Jersey 101.5, are below.
During Friday's daily briefing about the coronavirus, State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan said charges were filed in 11 cases in 12 counties. The charges included public mischief, creating a public alarm and obstruction.
“Our police officers are going above and beyond the call of duty during this health crisis," Grewal said in a written statement. "Unfortunately, they are being called upon far too often to deal with people violating the orders put in place to protect us all — or what is more egregious, people falsely using the coronavirus to spread fear or impede officers in their vital work.”
The order was issued in an effort to keep contact between people to a minimum, better known as social distancing, so coronavirus does not quickly spread and overwhelm the state's healthcare system.
From Grewal's news release, here are some of the recent enforcement actions taken as well as other cases where individuals were charged by law enforcement related to violations of the order:
- On March 12, Lea Piazza, 28, was charged with false public alarm and motor vehicle offenses after falsely claiming to be infected with the coronavirus during a DWI arrest in Hanover.
- On March 16, Jennifer Burgess allegedly spit on officers in Dunellen, claiming to have tested positive for COVID-19. She was charged with throwing bodily fluid at a law enforcement officer and second-degree terroristic threats.
- On March 17, Nicole A. Ayvaz, 23, was arrested in Belleville and charged with false public alarm for allegedly calling emergency dispatchers and claiming she had the coronavirus to try to get Essex County College to close. She did not have the virus.
- On March 20, Shaul Kuperwasser, 43, was charged with maintaining a nuisance for holding a wedding in Lakewood the previous day, March 19, in violation of the emergency order prohibiting large gatherings.
- On March 20, Eliyohu S. Zaks, 49, was charged with maintaining a nuisance for holding a wedding in Lakewood in violation of the emergency order prohibiting large gatherings.
- On March 20, Zachary Hagin, 33, was charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest and endangering for allegedly spitting on a police officer in Gloucester Township and claiming to have the coronavirus.
- On March 20, Marina N. Bishara-Rhone, 22, allegedly coughed directly on an officer during a domestic violence incident in River Edge, saying she had the virus and she hoped he was now infected. She was charged with endangering and throwing bodily fluid at a law enforcement officer.
- On March 21, Jacquon Jones, 37, was charged with disorderly conduct for holding a large party in Penns Grove in violation of the emergency order prohibiting large gatherings.
- On March 21, David Haley, 52, was charged in Middlesex County with throwing bodily fluid at a law enforcement officer and second-degree terroristic threats. He claimed to be infected with the coronavirus.
- On March 22, Adrienne Morris, 34, was charged in Gloucester Township after he allegedly went out drinking with a friend and crashed his car. He was charged with DWI, reckless driving and a disorderly persons offense for violating the stay at home order.
- On March 24, in Waterford, Carmen J. Fasanella, 25, allegedly went to the home of another woman and assaulted her. She was charged with aggravated assault, harassment and a disorderly persons offense for violating the stay at home order.
- On March 24, George Falcone, 50, was charged with terroristic threats, obstruction and harassment for allegedly purposely coughing on an employee at the Wegmans store in Manalapan and refusing to cooperate with a police officer.
- On March 24, David C. Morris, 54, allegedly told New Jersey state troopers in Sussex County that he had the coronavirus in an attempt to avoid arrest after a motor vehicle stop. He was charged with DWI.
- On March 24 in Lakewood, police charged Meir T. Gruskin, 37, with a disorderly persons offense for holding a wedding at his home in violation of the emergency orders.
- On March 24, the Jersey City Police Department charged multiple individuals who were loitering as a group outside an apartment building. Three juveniles were charged with defiant trespass, failure to disperse and disorderly persons offenses related to the emergency orders.
- On March 25, Karley A. Rosell, 24, of Pitman, was charged in a domestic violence incident with leaving her home and allegedly throwing a Molotov cocktail at her boyfriend’s residence. It did not detonate. She was charged with arson and weapons offenses, as well as a disorderly persons offense for violating the stay at home order.
- On March 25 in Lakewood, police charged Abraham Bursztyn, 48, with maintaining a nuisance in violation of the emergency order prohibiting large gatherings for holding a gathering of approximately 25 young men at the school where he is headmaster.
- On March 25, Raymond Ricciardi, 51, was arrested in New Providence on domestic violence charges. He allegedly stated that he was infected with the coronavirus and started to cough at police and medical personnel. He was charged with obstruction and harassment.
- On March 25, in Lakewood, Juan Gomez Sanchez was charged with a disorderly persons offense for purposely coughing at a liquor store and claiming he was infected with the coronavirus.
- On March 26, police in Washington Township in Warren County charged David Merring, 62, owner of Rack and Roll Billiards Hall, with obstruction of the administration of law for keeping his business open in violation of the emergency order. He was previously warned about opening during the emergency. He re-opened and had customers inside when police arrived.
- On March 27, Piscataway police charged Yu Han, 20, Xiaonuo Shi, 18, Chenyu Yang, 19, and Roukai Wang, 19, with disorderly persons offenses for violating the emergency orders and criminal mischief for allegedly drag racing and doing donuts in a school parking lot.
- On March 27, in Hazlet, state troopers charged Travis Urban, 30, with obstruction and hindering apprehension or prosecution for allegedly falsely claiming he had the coronavirus to try to avoid charges after being involved in a motor vehicle accident.
- On March 26, Lakewood police charged William Katzenstein, 39, with a disorderly persons offense for holding a wedding in violation of the emergency order.
- On March 27, police charged Pria Milledge, 37, with a disorderly persons offense for holding a party in Bridgeton in violation of the order prohibiting large gatherings.
Grewal asked anyone seeing a violation to call police or to report the incident at covid19.nj.gov/violation.
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