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BPD issues multiple citations, closes local gym ignoring executive orders to halt operations

Posted at 9:28 AM, Apr 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-06 21:39:21-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A Bakersfield gym that refused to close its doors amid a COVID-19 pandemic, was forced to shutdown on Friday morning.

According to the Bakersfield Police Department, units showed up to the Strength and Health Gym off of 21st Street under the direction of the Kern County Public Health Services Department.

The gym’s owner, Mark Pacheco, was issued several health and safety misdemeanor charges for refusing to comply with executive orders from Governor Gavin Newsom and Public Health to temporarily halt operations, according to BPD.

Pacheco told 23ABC News that two BPD officers and Public Health staff entered his gym from the rear entrance and told him to clear the gym and close down.

Pacheco provided a copy of the Public Health inspection of his gym, which stated more than 10 people were in the facility and entered from the backdoor.

In a press conference Monday morning, Public Health stated that they responded to over 150 complaints of various businesses that have not complied with the governor's order. Public Health spokeswoman Michelle Corson said there was only business that was issued a citation by BPD -- a "local gym."

Pacheco told 23ABC News that he "pushed the envelope ... There's a lot of us who hear a lot of rumors. We weren't sure as to whether or not, how far they were really going to go, whether they were going to enforce it."

"I had a hunch, but I made a commitment to everybody here. I said that 'I would not close, unless it came to that point' and that's exactly what happened," Pacheco said.

According to the inspection, the gym must remain closed until executive orders are lifted.