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Belmawr gym owners arrested for violating governor's orders

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CAMDEN – The owners of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr were arrested early Monday morning for operating their business in spite of a judge’s order against them Friday, according to Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer.

Ian Smith, 33, of Delanco Township, and Frank Trumbetti, 51, of Williamstown, are charged with one count of fourth-degree contempt, one count of obstruction, and one count of Violation of a Disaster Control Act, both disorderly persons summons.

“After Atilis Gym refused to comply with multiple criminal citations and Superior Court orders, including a contempt of court order issued Friday, today law enforcement entered the premises to ensure closure of the gym and to abate the public health risks,” said a spokesperson for Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “As the Attorney General previously said, the state wishes it had not come to this, but the gym refused to comply even with a contempt order.”

The two men who own the gym in Bellmawr have been vocal opponents of Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order shutting down gyms, among many other nonessential businesses in the state, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trumbetti said that while he and Smith were at the police department, they watched the entrance to the gym get boarded up through their Ring doorbell camera.

He said he feels a sense of relief, as he and Smith have been anticipating their arrest for months.

“We need to move forward,” he said. “Now it forces the issue on everything ... the fact that they arrested two guys who are just trying to run a business and keep people healthy.”

“Now I truly believe the backlash and pressure will force them to address this,” he said.

The gym reopened to customers in May to a crowd of supporters despite the executive order, but was ordered to close days later. After refusing a judge’s order to comply with the executive order, Superior Court Judge Robert T. Lougy on Friday issued a court order for Trumbetti and Smith to vacate the gym and cease operations.

According to the Prosecutor’s Office, from July 24 through July 27, several individuals were observed entering and using the gym.

Police said both owners refused to leave the gym when asked, leading to the charges.

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

The Philadelphia Inquirer contributed to this story.

Contact: 609-272-7251

Twitter @clairelowe


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Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. After seven years at The Current and Gazette newspapers, I joined The Press in 2015. I currently cover education.

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