Other Violations of Executive Orders, Including “Stay at Home” Order, and Ordinance

  • Richard Luecke, 53, of Spotswood, N.J., Bruce Egbert, 59, of Spotswood, N.J., and Barry Korsak, 57, of Monroe, N.J., were each charged on May 16 by the Spotswood Police with violating the emergency orders for drinking inside the American Legion in Spotswood. The three men were previously warned by police, and Korsak was previously cited on May 3.
  • Gutemberg De Cavalcante, 31, and Gaffar Poonawalla, 54, the manager and owner of Bob Smoke Shop on Ferry Street in Newark were charged with violating the emergency orders on May 17 when police observed numerous customers in the back of the store.
  • David Fitha, 51, of Brooklyn, N.Y., owner of Payless Clothing Store on Springfield Avenue in Irvington, was charged twice by the Irvington Police on May 18 and 19 with violating the emergency orders by opening his business to customers.
  • Jonathan Cozzino, 21, of Union City, N.J., was charged on May 19 by the Union City Police with violating the emergency orders. Cozzino was the manager on duty at the Dominos Pizzeria at 524 31st Street, where officers observed two employees who were not wearing face masks, one who was making pizza and another at the cash register. This location had been warned a number of times in the past month regarding similar conduct.
  • Katherine Hermes, 53, of Peapack, N.J., was charged by the Bernardsville Police with violating the emergency orders on May 20 by opening her business, Country Home Store at 21 Olcott Square, to customers after previously having been warned by police about opening.
  • Mario N. Albunia, 63, of Jersey City, N.J., was charged on May 21 by the Hoboken Police Department with violating the emergency orders by opening the restaurant he owns, Mario’s Pizza on Garden Street, for on-site dining. Police observed several patrons dining at tables both outside and inside of the restaurant. The patrons were seated less than 6 feet from one another and restaurant employees. Albunia was warned but refused to stop the violations.

Violation of the emergency orders is a disorderly persons offense carrying a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Such violations are charged by summons, without arrest.

Since the state of emergency was declared in New Jersey on March 9, at least 36 people have been charged with second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency for spitting, coughing, or otherwise threatening to deliberately expose officers, medical personnel, or others to COVID-19. Second-degree offenses carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

If you are seeing a lack of compliance with the Governor’s emergency orders in your town, please contact your local police department or report here covid19.nj.gov/violation

The Attorney General’s Office and New Jersey State Police will continue to work with law enforcement throughout New Jersey to deter non-complaint behavior.

No one should take advantage of this pandemic to further their own biased agendas. COVID-19 is no excuse to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and or other biased stereotypes. Please report bias crimes at 1-800-277-BIAS.