OXFORD (CBS) – An escalating standoff with the town of Oxford and a local gym owner came to a head as the town moved in and changed the locks and ordered any members inside to leave. This week a judge ruled the town could use whatever means necessary to close the facility and took the first step overnight by turning off the water and electricity.

In the afternoon, a constable posted a copy of the court order and soon after the locks were being changed.

“I understand shutdown laws and rules but enough is enough,” said Prime Fitness owner David Blondin.

A woman leaves Prime Fitness in Oxford as a locksmith changes the locks (WBZ-TV)

Under the state’s emergency shutdown order gyms are not allowed to open until phase 3, but Blondin reopened his doors one month ago with the support of his members.

“You’re going to have 25-30 people at the most. Down the street at Walmart and Target it’s a hundred people at one time. It’s ridiculous,” said member James Lauzonis.

Oxford town counsel Mark Reich called it a matter of public health and safety. “This kind of operation could lead to a spike in the virus. I don’t think we should be impacted by the intent of one individual to flout the law,” said Reich.

Dave Blondin, owner of Prime Fitness in Oxford (WBZ-TV)

Blondin faces $1300 a day in mounting fines and believes the town has other intentions. “It almost seems they want to put me out of business completely,” Blondin said.

Several members of Prime Fitness showed up around sunrise Thursday and found out they had to work out in the dark and they couldn’t take showers.

“My members are free willingly walking in the door and working out. So technically, if the business is closed due to no electricity, then they’re not really working out in a facility anymore, they’re working out in a vacant building,” Blondin said earlier Thursday. “As a resident of Oxford, a business owner, a taxpayer, someone that promotes health and fitness and the fact that they’re treating me like this is very disrespectful.”

Just after 4 p.m., the locks were changed and members were asked to leave the gym.

Blondin is determined that Prime Fitness will survive, but it may be the courts that determine how that will happen.

Comments (15)
  1. Vincent Vega says:

    We are now officially living in a totalitarian state. I sure hope the owner of that gym wins multiple lawsuits against the government, the governor and the electric utility. RESIST

    1. Can you go into a Theater and Yell fire? If your kid has chicken pox can you send him to school? You didn’t vaccinate? Why not. By your reasoning and statements the people that died during the stampede or suffered the debilitation of chicken pox .That is fine..I have my rights to cause the death of others in the name of free speech and freedom of expression. How many people that visited that gym tested positive for the virus? Did they check? Do they do any safe guards so that their freedom of expression does not infect others that are respecting the lives of others. Mr Vega..I know why don’t you fly to Oklahoma for Mr Trumps rally. When you come back go right into your family dinner..spread it around like the human petrie dish you’ll be..

      1. Butch, here is the inconvenient truth about the virus. Everyone is going to be infected at some point in time. Whether or not you get sick and or die is going to be determined by a number of genetic factors. This is a cyclical, herd-thinning, Darwinian-natural selection pandemic. Nature is completely indifferent to your concern for your family and friends. Nature can be cruel. So while we are waiting for the dice to roll on each and every one of us, let us make our own free choices.

      2. The basic argument is we do not know. The Epidemiologists are dancing as fast as they can. Unlike Mr Trump and his junk Science . I will side with WHO.. Mr Trump is the perfect example that education Privileged do not guarantee Intelligence. This is thee man that is supposed to be our leader.

      3. John says:

        Butch, you as anyone else has the freedom of choice whether or not you want to enter a place like this and take on whatever so called risks exist, that’s your choice but don’t take away the choice of others who may have a difference of opinion from you and do choose to go because that’s their choice as well. It’s as simple as that.

  2. Ron Smith says:

    So Brown Shirt, Jack Boot Baker will do any means to crush private enterprise. Is this now Nazi Massachusetts?

  3. kas1900 says:

    Interesting how you can do this to a gym in Oxford MA but not to hostile take over of a city area in Seattle.

  4. Jake Popo says:

    Read the Massachusetts Constitution Article 10 and 14th amendment. If this and many other cases against these unreasonable and UNFAIR continued lockdowns make it to the Supreme Court in either state their are HUGE holes in the States case. As a police officer and veteran who swore an oath to protect the constitution of the United States of America…( Not the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts) bravo Mr. Blondin…..if you people are that scared of being infected by the virus STAY HOME.

    1. Wilbur says:

      “.if you people are that scared of being infected by the virus STAY HOME.”
      That is (or should be) irrelevant. The point is to not become a carrier and infect others.

      1. The irony in your argument is that in order for herd immunity to emerge, others must be infected. The proper way to handle a pandemic such as this is for selective quarantine of elderly and at risk individuals. Just like sending young, healthy people into war, we should have sent the young, healthy people into business as usual. Let us catch the virus. Let some of us get sick. Let some of us die. Herd immunity within a few months. We did nothing here but delay the inevitable at great risk to our social and economic order.

      2. Do you not understand. We are dealing with something that has cost 7591 people in the commonwealth. That has infected 101853 people..of those 101853 people. How many may pass.? WE DO NOT KNOW. Do you not understand. This guy opening his gym may add to those numbers. It may effect your son..your daughter…grand daughter…This is what we should be thinking. NOT that a guy can make a buck..or be civil disobedient. If you know this guy..ask him..if they trace an infection to his gym..will he look those people in the eye. Face up? I bet you he will not. Everyone who posts here please think on that before you write. Does this man have the right to wrisk our lives?

      3. Wilbur says:

        CR_Cryan, If herd immunity is the solution, Trump, Fauci, Birx, and CDC should make that the clear objective. However, since Trump says a vaccine will be readily available by end of year, that date is likely earlier than 80% herd immunity an be reached.

        Also, your logic of protecting the elderly and at-risk and sending the young out to get herd immunity has drawbacks. Many of the “herd immunity draftees” aren’t smart enough or careful enough to stay away from all at-risk people. It would be nice if we could quarantine at-risk population, but many of that population will not stay quarantined.

        In summary, a vaccine might be available before herd immunity can be achieved, and it’s difficult to protect at-risk population while trying to achieve herd immunity.

    2. David O'Connor says:

      If you are a police officer you did more than swear to uphold the US Constitution. You also swore to uphold the Massachusetts Constitution and the Laws of of the Commonwealth. The laws, in particular M.G.L Chapter 111, give broad and sweeping powers to health officials of the Commonwealth to control outbreaks of disease “Dangerous to human life”. Covid has clearly been shown to be dangerous to human life. The orders of the health officials are clearly legal. This gym owner simply is putting his business over the health of the public.

  5. Kevin human says:

    Typical psychopath playing the victim. Oh woe is me! I’m the only one that matters, who cares about the people who could die because I’m refusing to act like an adult. He said it “Enough is enough”. What part of pandemic don’t you understand. Yes, you need to make sacrifice when called upon by your community. Or, do you intend to go off-grid and provide all of your own services? Get a horse because you don’t want to license a car and use paved roads? I know if any of your gym members get sick with coronavirus they will just go out to the forest to die because they don’t support the health care system.

    1. The true statement in your argument is that “…you need to make sacrifice when called upon by your community…” The problem is that our leaders called for the wrong type of sacrifice. We might very well have reached herd immunity by now if only a selective quarantine was advised. The young and healthy should have conducted business as usual, contracted the virus, maybe gotten sick and some would die. Just like in war, because that’s what this is, a war on a microscopic scale against a pathogen. We failed to recruit soldiers to fight it.

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