New Jersey Gym Owner Defies COVID Guidelines Despite $1.2m in Fines

New Jersey Gym Owner Defies COVID Guidelines Despite $1.2m in Fines

Play video content

A gym owner in New Jersey seems to be daring the governor and local authorities to come at him (bro) — saying he’s gotten over a million bucks in fines for staying open … something he says he’ll continue to do no matter what.

The guy’s name is Ian Smith, co-owner of Atilis Gym in Bellmawr — where he and his partners have been fully opening their doors to the public … despite state mandates that limit the number of people in gyms and mandatory mask-wearing. He’s enforced none of it.

His defiance has been an ongoing saga over the past several months of the pandemic — but a new video Smith released might as well be a clear line in the sand he’s drawing.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

Check it out … it’s him in the middle of his packed gym — where no face coverings can be seen — and he’s going through typed-out cue cards that lay out what’s been going on there. He says the gym has over a million dollars in fines ($1.2 mil to be specific) and the township continues to fine him around $15k a day every day he breaks the rules.

Smith also writes that he and his partners have even been arrested for flouting the regulations — but adds … he simply doesn’t care, and will keep on keepin’ on.

Waiting for your permission to load the Instagram Media.

He then takes aim at Gov. Phil Murphy … saying he’ll probably see this video and fine him again, but watch — Smith is calling him out, because he makes it seem like the fines are meaningless and anything short of forcibly locking the place up with chains won’t stop him.

It poses a very real and serious question — how much authority do local governments and state governments have in getting their citizens to comply, and what do you do when even a MILLION DOLLARS isn’t enough to sway someone to act right??? It’s a tricky predicament.

We’ve reached out to Gov. Murphy’s office — since he’s the subject of interest here — to see what they have to say about it … they told us they had “nothing to add.”