The Daily Caller reports, “A California gym reportedly reopened Wednesday after its owner was arrested Sunday for defying closure orders.”
On Sunday, Oceanside Police arrested Lou Uridel, the owner of Metroflex Gym and cited him for reopening his gym Friday. He was eventually released and is now talking to lawyers.
“They decided to come and arrest me and shut us down,” said Uridel, owner of the gym since 2017. “They did threaten if we reopen that they would arrest every single member in the gym who is working out and cite them with the same citations.”
NEW THIS MORNING, the owner of MetroFlex Gym In Oceanside tells us he is meeting with lawyers over threats made by authorities to arrest him (again) and his clients if they continue to show up to work-out during the COVID-19 pandemic. Details on @kusinews @kusi_gmsd pic.twitter.com/VGdhjlxud4
— ELIZABETH ALVAREZ (@EAlvarezKUSI) May 11, 2020
“If we don’t open, we won’t survive,” he said during a rally. Afterwards, he opened up shop.
According to county and state mandated orders, most gyms are among businesses that are not allowed to open until stage three of the COVID-19 reopening phase.
Oceanside Police Department spokeswoman Bonnie Stauffer said that “he will be cited every day that he has got the gym open, and he will be fined every day,” according to the Associated Press.
Stauffer said that police were working with the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office to figure out their options for enforcing the closure order.
“I don’t know what other enforcement can be done at this point,” she said.
Local supporters and Oceanside city councilman Christopher Rodriguez agrees with Uridel, and believes he should have the right to open his gym.
“There is a disconnect in my opinion all businesses are essential. A lot of veterans use this gym and without the gym you’re not relieving stress a lot of these veterans have been to combat they need this environment,” said Rodriguez.
Business owners around America have been arrested for defying stay at home orders. In May, a salon owner in Texas was sentenced to seven days in jail after refusing to close her business.