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N.J. Attorney General: Two Large Gatherings Broken Up in Lakewood Yesterday, Charges Filed

Lakewood, N.J. police vehicles. (Photo: Lakewood Police Department/Facebook)

Lakewood, N.J. police vehicles. (Photo: Lakewood Police Department/Facebook)

New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal on Wednesday reiterated his office’s stance that those violating emergency orders related to the coronavirus pandemic will be prosecuted.

Grewal’s office took the step after three large gatherings were broken up on Tuesday: one in Penns Grove and two in Lakewood, one of which was a wedding.

In Lakewood, police responded at approximately 2:30 p.m. yesterday to a large group of people gathered at a tent for a wedding reception outside a home. As police units responded to disperse the gathering, the homeowner allegedly continued the wedding ceremony. Lakewood Police issued a summons to the homeowner, Meir T. Gruskin, 37, charging him with a disorderly persons offense for violating the emergency order. After the summons was issued, the ceremony ended and the crowd dispersed, officials said.

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The second incident in Lakewood, allegedly took place at a school located on Main Street. Police responded at approximately 5:52 p.m. yesterday, where they discovered a gathering of approximately 25 teenage and adult males. Upon conclusion of the gathering, officers advised the school’s headmaster, Abraham Bursztyn, 48, that he was violating the emergency order and issued him a summons, charging him with maintaining a nuisance, a disorderly persons offense.

“Our first responders should not be expending their limited PPE 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 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!”