A pair of Cedar Rapids police officers issued a citation to the owner of Custom Fitness on Tuesday. Jason Bailey has a court appearance scheduled for June 25 and could be subject to a fine of up to $625.
“Like I tried to explain to him is that, uh, regardless of whatever we think, disagree, agree with it, the proclamation is pretty clear that the Governor sent out on May 6, one person in the gym,” one of the officers said.
“Why is there two of you here? Why are you guys both here? Why do you get to break the law?” the owner responded.
The officer presented a consent to delay for the violation to avoid having to take the owner to jail.
The owner was interviewed by a local TV channel.
“I don’t care about the $625, I’m still going to fight them because on principle,” he said. “The reality is, why only $625, why not $5,000, why not $10,000? If they’re going to be able to do whatever they want, why stop? Why is there a limit at $600? Why not a $20,000 fine?”
The owner was asked if he’d pay $20,000 to stay open.
“I’m not paying $625, so why would I pay the $20,000?”
Bailey said there was no possible way the scenario Gov. Reynolds allowed for reopening would work for his gym or his members.
“So then obviously the question comes to mind is, ‘OK, then what,’” Bailey said. “And that’s basically where we ended up today.”
Bailey said the gym is not doing one at a time.
“I’ll say this, I hope so many people come in here to work out that becomes an issue,” Bailey said when asked at what capacity the gym is operating. “But at this point, this is a rather large building and, as you guys can see, I don’t know there are roughly 20-25 cars in the parking lot and you’ve only been in about 20 percent of the gym, but this place does not look overfull does it? So really that’s never been an issue. And if it did come to that, we would at that time address it. We would probably keep it from being much over 50 percent I’m guessing.”
Bailey said the gym is probably the cleanest gym in town. He then discussed the gym’s policies.
“If you think coming to the gym and getting exercise is more of a danger to your health than going to Walmart and buying your Ho-Hos, eating your Cheez-Its and walking through a 150,000 square foot store that’s been dirty all day with all kinds of people that you have no idea where they’ve been at, I guess I would challenge you to refute what I am saying because the reality is this is one of the cleanest places in town,” he added. “It is people that are coming to a clean place that are in mind of their health, trying to stay healthy. Is there a risk, yeah there’s a risk for everything you do, everywhere you go. If you’re gonna take that stance, when does anything open?”
Bailey said it isn’t logical for Reynolds to say his gym can hold the same amount of people as gyms that are much, much smaller.
He then detailed how ridiculous the idea of opening for one person at a time is when compared to the expense of opening for one person to be in the gym at a time.
“I choose what I believe to be the lesser of two evils,” Bailey said.
Bailey said he has attorneys and they’ve been in contact with the police department.
“We know the potential cost,” he said. “We also know when there is a constitution that they’ve all sworn to, that they have to violate their oath to enforce any rules that would cause any consequences for me. So, they ought to think about the consequences as well.”