N.J. coronavirus recovery: Atilis Gym owners arrested for defying judge’s order

Ian Smith and Frank Trumbetti were charged with contempt, obstruction and related offenses.

A Bellmawr police officer issues tickets to the owners of Atilis Gym

A Bellmawr police officer issued tickets to the owners of Atilis Gym when it opened for a second day in defiance of the governor’s order. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Updated: 2:45 p.m.


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New Jersey reported another 446 cases of coronavirus on Monday, bringing the state’s cumulative total to 179,812 cases since the start of the pandemic.

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Another 17 residents died from complications of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total number of probable and lab-confirmed deaths to 15,804.

According to Gov. Phil Murphy, the state’s rate of transmission has increased to 1.09.

Atilis Gym owners arrested for disregarding judge’s order

On Monday morning, the owners of Atilis Gym, which has been opening despite a contempt order, were arrested and charged. Ian Smith, of Delanco Township, and Frank Trumbetti, of Williamstown, were charged with one count of fourth-degree Contempt, one count of Obstruction, and one count of Violation of a Disaster Control Act.

The contempt order was issued on Friday, July 24, and asked Smith and Trumbetti to cease operations and leave the premises. However, over the weekend, the gym continued to operate. Early Monday morning, Camden County police arrived at the gym to ask Smith and Trumbetti to depart. When the owners did not leave, the arrests were made.

Smith and Trumbetti were charged at the Bellmawr Police Department and released.

This is not the first time Atilis Gym has been asked to shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. In June, a federal judge denied a temporary restraining order and did not allow the business to reopen.

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Smith and Trumbetti’s lawyer, James G. Mermigis of The Mermigis Law Group, confirmed that his “clients were arrested between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. and have since been released.”

Rowan University reduces tuition cost

On Friday, July 24, Rowan University’s Board of Trustees passed a new resolution to lower the cost of tuition and fees for in-state undergraduates by 10%, from $14,376 to $12,938. Students will save approximately $1,438.

Out-of-state undergraduate students will receive the same reduction, from $23,408 to $21,970.

In the past seven years, Rowan has increased tuition by no more than 2.5% each year. Currently, it is distributing $7 million of CARES Act funding to students in need due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Rowan University President Ali A. Houshmand said, “The University was able to provide this added support through broad cost-reduction initiatives, but more importantly, through people rethinking how we best serve our students, taking on more responsibility and, frankly, doing even more with even less.”

More rapid-response testing

At Monday’s coronavirus briefing — which marked the state’s 100th since the start of the pandemic — Murphy announced a new testing partnership. RUCDR Infinite Biologics will provide 30,000 rapid-response saliva tests in the state each day.

The rapid-response tests have a 48-hour turnaround for receiving results, a major improvement as test turnaround has lagged nationally.

The tests, developed at Rutgers, will be sent to New Jersey’s priority populations first, including frontline responders and vulnerable residents.

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