NJ couple, 99-year-old man among group charged for holding engagement party during pandemic

A New Jersey couple and several other people are facing charges for their involvement in an engagement party Tuesday.

Lake Township Police responded to a residence on Spruce Street at approximately 4:30 p.m. on March 31 for reports of a social gathering.

As a result of the continued COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order that banned all gatherings or social events regardless of their nature in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease.

Yaakov Kaufman, 47, and Eti Kaufman, 45, were both charged with violating the governor’s executive order and six counts of child endangerment – one for each of their six minor children that attended the party.


Several of the guests in attendance of the Kaufman’s party were also charged with Violating Any Rule or Regulation Adopted by the Governor During a State of Emergency.

Those guests include Michael Zimmerman, 99, of Lakewood; Joshua Lichtenstein, 54, of Lakewood; Brocha Lichtenstein, 22, of Lakewood; Tzipora Wolfe, 24, of Lakewood; Shmuel Kaufman, 23, of Lakewood; Syril Lichtenstein, 54, of Lakewood; Samuel Wolfe, 27, of Lakewood; and Ruky Zimmerman, 21, of Lakewood.

In a recent arrest of a different couple for violating the governor’s orders and hosting a gathering, Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer reminded residents that any noncomplicance would result in legal action.

“My office will prosecute any individual who defies or breaks the law, State of Emergency or otherwise.  Everyone must respect and follow the law,” Billhimer said at the time.


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