NJ Gym owner who reopened in defiance of state order held in contempt of court

Fox News reports a New Jersey gym owner who reopened his business in defiance of Gov. Phil Murphy’s stay-at-home order told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” he is being “hounded by the state” for pushing back against a “very, very clear political agenda.”

Ian Smith vowed in May to reopen the workout facility with social distancing measures in place. Their plans drew a crowd of supporters who gathered outside protesting Murphy’s stay-at-home mandates. Since then, Smith said he has been served “citation after citation…,” was shut down by the health department, and was held in contempt of court.

“The police force was initially weaponized against us with a citation after citation after citation,” he explained. “Then it was the health department, we were shut down without anybody ever stepping foot inside our building and then…the court system enforced the shutdown and locked our doors on us.”

Smith said he was forced to removed the doors to his facility to gain access, and relocated workout sessions outside.

“It was absurd,” he recalled. “We were dragging half of the gym outside, close to 30,000 pounds worth of equipment every single day and on July 4th we resumed, and now the court is being weaponized against us again,” he said.

“We were held in contempt of court and we narrowly escaped that last night.”