Two weeks after Gov. Phil Murphy issued a statewide stay-at-home order to slow the spread of coronavirus, residents he has taken to calling “knuckleheads” in his daily press briefings continue to contravene it.
Police over the weekend charged 54-year-old John Maldjian of Rumson, Monmouth County, with reckless endangerment and other disorderly persons offenses for holding an impromptu concert on his front porch to a crowd of about 30 people congregating on his front lawn and in a nearby street.
Even after police arrived, Maldjian and another man allegedly continued playing acoustic guitars and singing, and only stopped after they were directly approached by an officer.
Police said further charges were forthcoming for people who cursed at officers and shouted “welcome to Nazi Germany” when they were asked to leave.
“The Governor’s executive orders are commonsense measures to keep people safe during this historic health crisis,” said Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. “When people like the partiers in Rumson flout the orders and show disrespect and hostility to police officers, they not only put themselves and the others immediately involved in peril, they risk inciting others to engage in such irresponsible and dangerous behavior.”
Police reported other violations, too. The West Windsor Police Department signed juvenile petitions against a 16-year-old girl who purposely coughed on another customer inside Wegmans after the women told her she was too close, authorities said. And the Englewood Police Department said 43-year-old Sughuy Cepeda spit on and coughed at officers several times after telling them she was COVID-19 positive. Cepeda was charged with second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency and other crimes.
Law enforcement officials are asking residents to report any violations of the governor’s stay-at-home order to police.