A California gym reportedly reopened Wednesday after its owner was arrested Sunday for defying closure orders.
Lou Uridel, the owner of Metroflex Gym in Oceanside, reopened his business last Friday and was arrested Sunday, KUSI reported. He was eventually released.
“They decided to come and arrest me and shut us down,” Uridel said. “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 that drew supporters. Afterwards, he opened up shop. (RELATED: Wisconsin Bars Open After Stay-At-Home Order Lifted)
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.
“I don’t know what other enforcement can be done at this point,” she said.
Business owners across the country have been arrested for defying stay at home orders. In early May, a salon owner in Dallas, Texas was sentenced to seven days in jail after refusing to close her business. Shelley Luther, the owner of Salon À la Mode and Hot Mess Enterprises, was told by Dallas County Judge Eric Moye that she could avoid jail time if she apologized.
Luther refused to do so. “I have hairstylists that are going hungry because they would rather feed their kids,” she told the judge. “So sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision. But I am not going to shut the salon.”
“Feeding my kids is not selfish,” she added.