LACEY — As an Ocean County restaurant continues to offer indoor dining against state directives, racking up summonses, the State Police Superintendent has asked that critics of the diner resist the urge to send hate mail.

State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan said Wednesday that the owner of Lakeside Diner, which is in the Forked River section of this township, was being repeatedly charged with fourth-degree contempt for violating the Department of Health's closure order.

Callahan also said there are "reports of hate mail coming into the Lakeside Diner as well as to other establishments with a similar or same name throughout the state."

He then asked that "everybody refrain from the desire to send hate mail to these establishments and just let law enforcement handle that."

An unrelated Lakeside Diner in Passaic County has been receiving some undue attention amid the continued saga.

A post on that restaurant's Facebook page from last week said that there is no affiliation between the two businesses, and that the diner in Ringwood continue to operate under state guidelines.

One star reviews and even "death threats" have been an issue for that Ringwood establishment, the owner told NBC New York.

Meanwhile, the owner of Lakeside Diner in Ocean County, Alfred Brian Brindisi, has received numerous criminal citations since early June.

A cease and desist order was delivered July 31 and Brindisi was served another summons as well as a contempt of court order at his home late Monday night, according to his lawyer.

Brindisi is represented by New York attorney James Mermigis, whose law firm also represents Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, which has repeatedly defied Murphy's executive orders on gym and fitness center operations amid the pandemic.

The diner has garnered the support of both the mayor and township administrator, who declined a prosecutor's request to have the municipal Department of Public Works shutter the establishment earlier this week.

A Facebook event Monday billed as "Love for Lakeside and Trump" asked for patrons to show up and support Brindisi and said 10% of all proceeds from that day would go to President Donald Trump's reelection campaign. The show of support event was listed as hosted by Ayla Wolf and the grassroots group, Open New Jersey Now.

With previous reporting by Dan Alexander

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