800 cited in Newark for not staying home; Murphy tired of ‘jackasses’ statewide
NEWARK — Authorities in New Jersey's biggest city cited more than 800 people and ordered dozens of businesses closed on charges they violated the governor's stay-at-home order to combat COVID-19, city officials said Monday.
Eight hundred forty-two people were issued summonses, and 44 nonessential businesses have been closed in the week since police began cracking down, Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose told NJ.com.
Police at first gave people warnings but began to issue summonses on March 31, according to authorities. Gov. Phil Murphy signed the stay-at-home directive on March 21.
People had been “blatantly”violating the order, Ambrose said.
They're among the many alleged rule-breakers Gov. Phil Murphy has described as "knuckleheads" — and, starting at his daily press conference on Monday, "jackasses," likening them to donkeys soldiers are said to have carried across minefields (though Snopes says that's not quite what a photo Murphy's Twitter account shared Monday shows.)
So far in New Jersey, more than 900 people have died from the coronavirus, with more than 37,000 people testing positive.
There have been other reports of citations across the state, as well.
A performance by a Pink Floyd cover band that drew about 30 adults to the front yard of a home on Saturday night has resulted in charges against a Rumson man.
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan said the man was charged with several disorderly persons offenses including reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death.
Grewal's office announced several other alleged violations of Murphy's order Monday. It's been routinely summarizing new incidents. The following are descriptions as provided by the Attorney General's Office:
Marco Costa, 28, of Harrison, was charged today by police in Kearny with terroristic threats during an emergency (2nd degree), three counts of throwing bodily fluid at a law enforcement officer (4th degree), five counts of attempted burglary (3rd degree), and possession of a hypodermic syringe (disorderly persons offense). Costa was arrested after police received a report of a man fitting his description pulling on car door handles in the area. While being handcuffed, Costa allegedly told officers he had the coronavirus and purposely coughed at them.
Dennis Steward, 52, of Valley Stream, N.Y., was charged on April 4 in Hamilton, Mercer County, with terroristic threats during an emergency (2nd degree), throwing bodily fluid at an officer (4th degree), and DWI. Steward was charged after he crashed into a house on South Olden Avenue in Hamilton. He was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Trenton at his request after he complained of chest pains. While there, he allegedly became aggressive and spat on hospital security guards, two Hamilton police officers, and a nurse. He claimed he had Covid-19 and had just come back from visiting someone in Bronx, N.Y., who died from the virus.
Derrick E. Hughes II, 32, of Woolwich, was charged on April 5 with terroristic threats during an emergency (2nd degree), endangering (3rd degree), throwing bodily fluid at an officer (4th degree), violation of a temporary restraining order (TRO) (disorderly persons offense), and violating the emergency orders. Hughes was arrested by the Woolwich Township Police for violation of a TRO, and while being fingerprinted, he allegedly spat at officers. While being handcuffed, he allegedly breathed heavily on an officer and stated that he had COVID-19 and hoped the officers would catch it.
Terrance Edwards, 34, of New Brunswick, was arrested early today by New Brunswick police after he allegedly broke into a residence while naked and armed with a knife. He left that residence and allegedly attempted unsuccessfully to break into a neighboring residence. When officers arrived, Edwards yelled that he had the coronavirus. He was charged with burglary (2nd degree), possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose (3rd degree), unlawful possession of a weapon (4th degree), and violation of the executive orders.
Anekia Dawkins, 35, of Morristown, was charged by local police with violating the executive orders for holding a party at her residence with more than 10 people on Saturday night, April 4.
Tyeashia Henderson, 20, of Hillside, was charged by police with violating the executive orders for holding a party at her house with approximately 20 people on Sunday, April 5.
Steven Nunez, 22, of Clifton, Tiffany Colon, 21, of Clifton, and Valerie Saez, 22, of Passaic, were charged with violating the emergency orders after a West Milford police officer found them parked in a vehicle at the Clinton Road Reservoir boat launch after hours.
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