PLANTATION, Fla. – Hours after he was released from the Broward County jail, Michael Carnevale was outside the gym he owns in Plantation on Friday morning, operating 1440 Fitness from the parking lot.
Plantation police showed up and arrested him again, for a third time. His wife was also taken into custody.
It’s all over Carnevale’s refusal to enforce Broward County’s emergency order mandating that masks be work while people are working out in gyms to prevent coronavirus spread. That’s what led to his arrest in late July, then again Thursday afternoon when his gym was shut down, and yet again Friday morning.
He says his fight isn’t over.
“I think that this is something worth standing for,” he said before his arrest Friday morning. “The more we seem to comply with these mandates, the more bizarre, the more intrusive these mandates seem to have gotten.”
Carnevale, 31, says he doesn’t want people to pass out while working out with masks on, or to disrupt their natural breathing patterns.
But another Plantation gym owner down the street at John Wai Martial Arts says you can get a work out effectively with a mask on, acknowledging that the masks are a challenge, but one you can overcome.
“I respect that gym owner’s process. I respect his opinion, all perspectives are appreciated here,” Carnevale said. “But I think the more that owners like that lay down, the worse this is going to get for us.”
Police officers told gym members in the parking lot that they couldn’t use the equipment because the gym has been shut down.
Staff members then moved the equipment back inside.
Carnevale has a pending lawsuit against the county, fighting back against the emergency order. He wouldn’t comment on the status of that suit.