RAMONA, Calif. (KGTV) -- A San Diego County gym owner has been charged with several misdemeanors for violating public health orders, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
According to the DA, Peter San Nicolas, owner of Ramona Fitness Center, is facing five charges for “violation of California emergency services act.”
According to the document, each of the misdemeanors carry a $1,000 fine.
The complaint states that from June 2 through July 17, San Nicolas “did refuse and willfully neglect to obey a lawful order.”
San Nicolas says he violated the orders because he felt it was the right thing to do. He is getting legal help to fight the charges.
"It's about all businesses; small businesses like the salon across the street, the coffee shop down the road, the couple of new restaurants that have opened and are struggling." San Nicolas said. "It's not about me anymore. It's about all small business, and I feel it's my duty to stand up."
"We understand and sympathize with the significant hardship placed on businesses who are required to remain closed. But public health orders are in place to safeguard the health of everyone in our community amid this deadly pandemic,” the District Attorney’s office said.
“Along with our law enforcement partners, we work with businesses to give them opportunities to achieve voluntary compliance. But when the public health order is ignored and the law is broken, the public's health is at risk and we will file charges,” a statement continued.
The move marks the first time the office has filed charges over the public health order.