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Early Morning 35-Person Gathering in Lakewood Leads to Charges

The Lakewood, N.J. police shield. (Credit: LPD/Facebook)

The Lakewood, N.J. police shield. (Credit: LPD/Facebook)

Lakewood residents are continuing to violate the state’s social distancing regulations in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, leading to additional charges following several similar incidents last week and over the weekend.

On Monday, prosecutors announced that David Gluck, 42, of Lakewood and Abraham Haberfeld, 32, of Lakewood were each charged with maintaining a nuisance in violation of Gov. Phil Murphy’s order against the staging of large gatherings.

According to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Lakewood Township police were summoned to 401 Madison Avenue for a report of a large gathering of people. Responding officers found approximately 35 individuals inside the building, a statement said.

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After “several unsuccessful attempts” by the officers to clear the building, the crowd was eventually dispersed, the statement said. The building’s owner, Gluck, and the building’s manager, Haberfeld, were each charged with maintaining a nuisance.

“We will continue to enforce Executive Order 107,” Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said Monday. “Nothing short of 100 percent compliance will be tolerated. Stay home and practice social distancing, and please have some consideration for our law enforcement officers.”

In a separate incident on Monday afternoon, Toms River police reportedly pulled over a school bus that was carrying a large number of Lakewood children. It was unclear if charges were filed in that case.

Lakewood leads Ocean County in the number of COVID-19 cases being reported. Out of 954 infections, 399 were from Lakewood, Ocean County Health Department figures showed.

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