In the new altered reality that is 2020, Americans in some cities have begun calling the police on each other as coronavirus rules are being violated.
Police arrested a New Jersey homeowner for hosting a pop-up wedding that exceeded the ban of gatherings of over 50 people issued by the governor to stem the spread of the virus.
Eliyohu Zaks, a 49-year-old homeowner, was arrested by police in Ocean County and charged with “maintaining a nuisance for hosting the wedding” which had more than 50 people gathered at his home. Lakewood police have reportedly responded to about 17 calls for social distancing violations of regulations put in place by the state, according to KYW-TV.
“The Lakewood Police is asking that its citizens be responsible and obey the directives set forth by the State of New Jersey for the safety and health of all. Those that choose not to will be subject to criminal prosecution,” police said in a statement.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy issued a ban on gatherings of 50 or more people earlier this week in the efforts against the global pandemic in the state which currently has 890 confirmed cases and 11 deaths, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.
I take personal responsibility for the public health and safety of New Jersey.
If you are unhappy about our aggressive social distancing measures, I’m sorry. But your safety is my highest priority.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 18, 2020
Two weddings at the Lake Terrace and Fountain Ballroom with more than 50 guests at each were reportedly broken up this week as well, though no known arrests were made, according to New Jersey 101.5 which also reported that Shaul Kuperwasser was charged with maintaining a public nuisance after Lakewood police responded to a large crowd at his house
The outlet noted that Lakewood has become the “epicenter” of COVID-19 in Ocean County, with 26 of the county’s 53 known coronavirus cases being concentrated there.
All New Jersey schools were ordered closed earlier this week as well as all non-essential businesses as the Democrat leader also mobilized the National Guard. Murphy, who had cut public gatherings to 50 people earlier this week, said Friday: “I’m not sure if we’re going to be to 10 people or if we’re going to zero.”
Sweeping mandates were announced in California, New York, and Illinois as people were told to stay home except for essential needs. Murphy announced more restrictions for New Jersey residents on Saturday.
I just mandated the indefinite closure of ALL
📚Municipal, county, and State public libraries
📚Libraries and computer labs at public & private higher ed institutions
I know libraries are a critical part of the fabric of our communities, but we must slow the spread of #COVID19.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 21, 2020
New Jersey’s first major coronavirus testing site at Bergen Community College in Paramus, hit capacity after being open for just four hours on Friday.
In a tragic story in one New Jersey city, four members of the same family have died from coronavirus and many more are quarantined.
A 4th member of a single New Jersey family died on Thursday from the coronavirus, a relative said. 3 other family members remain hospitalized, 2 of them in critical condition, and nearly 20 other relatives are quarantined at their homes. https://t.co/v4y0jfpjXg
— The New York Times (@nytimes) March 19, 2020
Meanwhile, Twitter users were shocked at the report of a homeowner being arrested for the wedding, especially with police being told in some cities to not arrest actual criminals due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Philly’s Police Commissioner issued new guidelines for officers to no longer arrest criminals for “non-violent” crimes due to the #coronavirus outbreak. Below, the list of offenses for which arrests will no longer be made and accompanying press release. Full coverage tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/YW9ZlEZp2c
— Chris Stigall (@ChrisStigall) March 18, 2020
Big news out of Baltimore: Citing coronavirus, @MarilynMosbyEsq instructs prosecutors to reject arrests for drug possession, prostitution, minor traffic and other lesser charges and release anyone being held https://t.co/SE7flOVJYd pic.twitter.com/swsl3daps8
— Justin Fenton (@justin_fenton) March 18, 2020
In Puerto Rico, more than 100 people were arrested for violating an executive order to stay inside.
Puerto Rico officials have arrested more than 124 people who’ve allegedly violated the Governors executive order to stay inside. Mayagüez leads the list in terms of having the most arrests of people who refuse to stay inside for everybody safety #Covid_19 https://t.co/DCzILdoO3o https://t.co/etDu67HvF4
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) March 20, 2020
Ho….ly moly…. I hate to even ❤️ this news. Scary stuff. We’re about to see a trend spread.
— Mia (@miagata73) March 20, 2020
California, cities are now on MANDATORY lockdown for 15 days, like house arrest.
New Jersey officials arrested people at a wedding that had 50 in attendance.
Violation of “social distancing” law in NJ.
It’s getting ready to be VERY bad.
This is NOT A Brave New World
— GLAY (@Glayvorkia) March 21, 2020
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