OCEANSIDE, Calif. — Police arrested a North County gym owner who reopened his business, defying the county health order.
Oceanside police spokesman Tom Bussey said officers arrested Louis Uridel, owner of Metroflex Gym, after he refused to close his business on Sunday. He was later released and given a citation. Bussey said officers gave him a warning days prior to his arrest.
FOX 5 spoke to Uridel on Monday at his gym. He claimed officers contacted him but did not warn him that he would be arrested unless he kept his gym closed. He said he decided to reopen the gym on Friday to give his business a fighting chance to survive the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s rough. I’ve exhausted my personal savings, and you still have to pay for the lights to be on,” said Uridel. “It’s gotten to the point where we may lose members and our gym.”
Uridel’s decision to reopen came before Oceanside City Councilman Christopher Rodriquez called for opening all businesses in the city. Rodriguez called Saturday for all non-essential businesses to reopen. Mayor Peter Weiss said in a statement that the councilman’s position is not the city’s official policy.
Uridel said he plans on reopening his gym on Wednesday with a rally calling for other small businesses to reopen.