NJ couple charged with child endangerment after hosting party despite state ban on social gatherings

A New Jersey couple is facing charges after police had to disperse between 40 and 50 people, including their children, from a gathering outside their home Sunday.

Authorities say Eliezer and Miriam Silber, of Alamitos Drive in Lakewood, were both charged with endangering the welfare of their five children.

The Lakewood Police Department and the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office have expressly declared that Sunday’s event and subsequent arrests were clear violation of the state’s ban on social gatherings.

As such, Eliezer Silber was charged with violating the executive order Gov. Phil Murphy signed March 21 that bans social gatherings such as weddings, parties and celebrations in hopes of mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic.

Authorities did not say why the crowd was there, but added that dozens of people were congregating in the street, blocking the street, and also gathered on the front lawn of the Silbers’ residence.

“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,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer said in a statement. “My office will prosecute any individual who defies or breaks the law, State of Emergency or otherwise.  Everyone must respect and follow the law.”

Eliezer and Miriam Silber are both required to appear at a future court day in Ocean County Superior Court.


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