Lakewood cops break up another gathering, issue complaint
Gov. Phil Murphy called out two violations of his stay-at-home order in Lakewood as he repeated his point that the executive orders are not "polite suggestions."
During his daily coronavirus briefing on Wednesdday, Murphy said the directives are in place for "the greater public health and safety and to give us a better chance of slowing the spread of coronavirus." The order prohibits the gathering of any size crowd in public or private locations, which he said is being enforced by local police.
"Two summons were issued in Lakewood yesterday. One for a large gathering and another for a wedding at a private residence," Murphy said.
Lakewood police spokesman Greg Staffordsmith told New Jersey 101.5 that officers responded to a gathering at a building on Madison Avenue around 8 a.m. Tuesday and a wedding at a home on Newport Drive about 2:30 p.m. In both cases, a criminal complaint was issued to the owner and homeowner.
The Newport Drive homeowner, Meir T. Gruskin, 37, was charged with a disorderly persons offense for violating the emergency order.
In another incident about 5:52 p.m. Tuesday, police responded to a school on Main Street, where 25 teenagers and men were gathering. The headmaster, Abraham Bursztyn, 48, was charged with a disorderly persons offense of maintaining a nuisance, the state Attorney General's Office said.
A short video posted by Ocean County Scanner News shows a block party with about a dozen vehicles parked, one with people sitting on top of the vehicle, with adults and children standing outside listening to a live band.
According to the Ocean County Health Department, Lakewood has 141 of the county's 321 COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday afternoon. Toms River has 40 cases and Jackson 35.
The incidents happened as police Chief Gregory Meyer touted in a letter posted by The Lakewood Scoop that there had been "great compliance" with the governor's "stay at home" order.
Police broke up two weddings on March 17 and issued summons to 17 homeowners for having gatherings of more than 50 people during the week.
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