Lakewood Police break up another large gathering of people
Police have broken up another large gathering of people in Lakewood and in addition to violating Governor Phil Murphy's executive order, two parents are in trouble for endangering their children.
Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer and Lakewood Police Chief Gregory Meyer announced that Eliezer Silber, 37, and Miriam Silber, 34, both of Lakewood, have been charged with five counts of Child Endangerment.
Lakewood Police Department were summoned to a residence on Alamitos Drive Sunday for a report of a gathering of people blocking the street.
The gathering was in violation of Executive Order No. 107 signed by Governor Phil Murphy on March 21, 2020, which bans gatherings of individuals, whether they be at weddings, parties, celebrations, or other social events.
Lakewood Police Officers discovered a gathering of approximately 40-50 people, including children, on the front lawn and in the street in front of the residence.
Officers ordered the crowd to disperse, and they then made contact with the owners of the residence, Eliezer and Miriam Silber.
Eliezer Silber was charged with Violating Any Rule or Regulation Adopted by the Governor as well as Endangering the Welfare of his five children who were at the gathering.
Miriam Silber was likewise charged with Endangering the Welfare of her five children.
They are both required to appear at a future court date in Ocean County Superior Court.
“As I have previously stated, it is my sworn duty to protect all of the residents of Ocean County. That obligation applies across the board,” Prosecutor Billhimer said. “My Office will prosecute any individual who defies or breaks the law, State of Emergency or otherwise. Everyone must respect and follow the law. The men & women of the Lakewood Police Department have done an exceptional job in the face of a public health crisis. Their efforts are truly commendable."
Lakewood has the most cases of COVID-19 in Ocean County with 371 of the county's 835 cases, as of Sunday afternoon, according to the Ocean County Health Department.
Last week, Lakewood Police Officers responded to a gathering of 25 teenagers at a building on Main Street as well as a wedding at a home on Newport Drive.
Those were the most recent cases following other weddings and large gatherings that have been broke up over the last three weeks.
In both cases last week, a criminal complaint was issued to the owner and homeowner.
Lakewood Police Chief Greg Meyer told The Lakewood Scoop last week that his township is "100% in compliance" with Gov. Phil Murphy's stay-at-home order.
"Our officers have visited local stores, banquet halls, parks and other spaces and what we've seen so far from our residents is nearly 100% compliance. We are grateful that the community as a whole is working together to ensure social distancing and following the governor's orders," Meyer told The Scoop.
In an effort to encourage people to stay home and be healthy, Lakewood Police put up a public safety campaign recently that includes billboards, letters and social media reflecting the message of social distancing.
Previous reporting by Dan Alexander was used in this report.