AG Grewal Renews Warning That Those Who Violate Emergency Orders Related to COVID-19 Pandemic Will Face Criminal Charges; Cites incidents in Penns Grove and Lakewood

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today reiterated his message that law enforcement agencies across New Jersey are strictly enforcing the Governor’s Executive Orders during the COVID-19 pandemic, and those who refuse to comply will face criminal charges.

Attorney General Grewal cited three recent examples where police charged individuals for holding prohibited gatherings, including a house party in Penns Grove and two large gatherings in Lakewood.

“Our first responders should not be expending their limited personal protective equipment and putting themselves at risk by breaking up large gatherings like they did twice yesterday in Lakewood and over the weekend in Salem County,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “That’s why we’ve charged these three individuals and will charge anyone else who threatens public health by holding large gatherings during this emergency. Our message is clear: stay home!”

Late Saturday night, police responded to a noise complaint on Lanning Avenue in Penns Grove, where more than 30 people were attending a house party. Officers of the Penns Grove Police Department broke up the party and charged the man who was hosting the party with a disorderly persons offense for violating Governor Murphy’s order prohibiting large gatherings. Party guests were making videos of the party to post on YouTube.

In Lakewood, police responded to a large group of people gathered at a tent for a wedding outside a home. As police units responded to disperse the gathering, the homeowner continued the wedding. Lakewood Police issued a summons to the homeowner, charging him with a disorderly persons offense for violating the emergency order. After the summons was issued, the wedding ended and the crowd dispersed.

The second incident in Lakewood took place at a school located on Main Street. Police responded and discovered a gathering of approximately 25 teenage and adult males. Upon conclusion of the gathering, officers advised the school’s headmaster that he was violating the emergency order and issued him a summons, charging him with maintaining a nuisance, a disorderly persons offense.


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    • I’m sure we’re not the only places. The media is very good at finding fault within our community, throw in an incident from another random place and it doesnt look discriminitory.
      Also, as a close knit community it is more likely that there will be an incident of a gathering as that is our norm. So there was 1 or 2 small gatherings out of 150,000 people, it’s not ok but we need to have perspective. It’s easy for people who don’t normally gather together in large crowds to remain that way. We generally do gather in large crowds, and more often, therefore we are having a harder time seperating from our community. It is difficult for everyone but this problem was not created by a few small gatherings. The problem is that if you make an exception, where do you stop so we all need to chip in and seperate equally.

  1. Seemed completely unnecessary for the aj to shine the spotlight on Lakewood as an example. If he is genuinely concerned about the welfare of all NJ residents, then he should make his point without seeding anti-Semitism and endangering the lives of hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children.

    There are no shortage of people breathlessly looking for negative things to promulgate regarding the Lakewood community and for the aj to give them fodder is extremely disappointing.

    It wasn’t too long ago when he himself said he’d do everything in his power to combat anti-Semitism – well…. a good place to start is to stop making reckless statements that will linger long after this pandemic is over.

    • Stop playing the victim card! If you follow the law and stop putting the population at large at risk, you dont end up in the news. If you do, you deserve it and they should publish your name besides. Stop being so selfish! This is not anti-Semitism. Those who continue to disregard social distancing are who are endangering lives.

    • Penns Grove was also called out. AG trying to make the point that EVERYONE has to follow restrictions or others will suffer. When the younger generation disregards it because its just a mild sickness, they may feel differently when the realize they infected a dozen others who cannot recover easily. This is not FAKE. The healthcare system cannot handle the volume of people that will need help if we don’t try and limit the spread. As for the comment below- yes it would have been great to isolate the elders and limit contact with infected, we were not prepared for that, so that is a mute point at this time.
      Stay home … stay healthy

    • Nowhere did the AG mention religion so it’s quite inappropriate to claim anti-semitism unless you are claiming one faith is exempt from the rules. Follow the rules for everyones benifit.

  2. I am glad the police are doing their jobs and up holding the law. We are all required to obey the laws set in place. No one is above the law. The Bible says we are to abide by the laws here on earth as we do in heaven.

  3. Joel your statement is well written and well understood. However the aforementioned leaders have not done their part for society and they behaved in a manor that earned the entire Lakewood community a spotlight from the AG. I wouldn’t be surprised if the news was reported to him from a close aide that dislikes your community. The AG wouldn’t have mentioned it otherwise.

  4. @joel, The blame shouldn’t be on the AG, but on the people that disregard the laws and put others at risk.

    It is a shame, because in a town of 100k people, there is higher than 99.5% compliance. B”H that the community largely respects the law. But the rest is up to everyone to spread the word to neighbors that don’t have internet.

  5. The whole emergency order is violation of couple of amendment rights.
    So in real court they will be punished for passing these law.
    Besides that they don’t have any concrete calculation if these order is helping reduce anything
    Its a dumb decision the govt made, they should have made special sections for elder people (on their own risk if they don’t come)
    The percentage of young people needing hospitalized were very low the majority like me my brother & many friend had low grade fever and little fatigue. BTW I was not running around exposing myself, so now what many people are not showing any symptoms. It boils down mainly to elderly.
    So how does this justify all the stupid orders, mental health is OK to suffer?
    We need private company to investigate how much damage they have done, and we should hold them accountable including (G)crewel

    Punished? Why should the government be punished? Stupid Laws? Oh come on! You obviously know very little regarding this virus. This pandemic can have deadly consequences for every age. It can be your fiend who has an underlying condition that he wasn’t aware of. 50% of the cases are under the age of 50. Children can be carriers and infect an entire family and then that family goes to school, the synagogue the food stores and the spread continues with no end in sight. It will continue to circulate throughout the world. The local hospitals can not care for every critical patient. People of any age can die. Do the world a favor have some compassion and respect for others and stay home!

  7. To: My Opinion

    You don’t believe in the mishna in Sanhedrin? You shouldn’t need President Trump & Governor Murphy to point out to you that saving lives is more important than the economy. If you truly want to live in a society that values the group over the individual than you can move to Venezuela or any other socialist state.

  8. I don’t think there is anything anti-semitic about the article. No where does it mention religion, only the geographic location of the incidents. This is about safety and nothing more. No need to feel like any one group is being singled out. Let’s all think of keeping our children, parents & grandparents safe at this time.

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