Roanoke private gym owner charged for operating during coronavirus crisis

Lance Goyke / CC BY 2.0 / MGN
Lance Goyke / CC BY 2.0 / MGN(KALB)
Published: Apr. 20, 2020 at 4:22 PM EDT
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The owner of Titan Fit in Roanoke was charged Sunday with violating Gov. Northam's


The Governor's mandate is for all "non-essential" businesses to be closed. This includes Thomas Milton's member-only private fitness club.

According to a statement from the Stanley Law Group, Milton is considered likely the first and only owner of a private health and fitness club to be charged in violation of operating a "non-essential business."

"Mr. Milton, like many owners of Virginia private fitness clubs, believes that good health and wellness to fight this virus begins with fitness, and that their businesses are, and should be, a part of the solution. Mr. Milton respectfully believes that the Governor exceeded his legal power and authority as Governor in the issuance of EO 53, and he will stand and fight against what he believes is an unjust law, and a meritless criminal charge," reads the statement.

The charge is a Class One Misdemeanor that could carry 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500.

Titan Fit, on Centre Avenue NW, is a private, 24-hour, members-only health and fitness club with four full and part-time employees. According to the statement, about a third of the memberships are regional first responders.

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