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Friday, July 25, 2014
Judge gives OK to West End gym
Training at CrossFit allowed to go on amid litigation over noise
By Anthony Rifilato
Kristie Arden/Herald
Steve, Molly and Mike Abgarian, from left, and Sean Pastuch outside CrossFit.

A State Supreme Court judge denied a preliminary injunction last week calling on CrossFit King of the Beach to close its doors as three of the gym’s neighbors move forward with a lawsuit claiming that the noise and dropping of weights has become too much to bear.

CrossFit King opened at 901 W. Beech St. last October. In April, its owners, Michael Abgarian and Sean Pastuch, and landlord, Isabella Realty LLC, became entangled in a lawsuit with two businesses and a resident just east of the gym, including next-door Hamlet Investment Services, owned by Joseph Hamlet, and Top Hat Barber Shop.

CrossFit is intense strength and conditioning training that incorporates Olympics-style weightlifting, calisthenics, sprints and other exercises usually performed in groups. The lawsuit claims that the dropping of weights, loud music, grunting and other gym activities constitute a public nuisance and are so intrusive that they are interfering with neighbors’ businesses, driving customers away, and have created a safety issue for members and passers-by alike, as well as structural damage to the building.

Hamlet’s attorney, Denis Kelly, filed a preliminary injunction against CrossFit in Nassau County State Supreme Court in April to prevent the gym’s members from dropping weights and doing other activities.

The issue gained the attention of the media, which Pastuch and CrossFit members said unfairly portrayed them as “muscle heads.” Pastuch said that CrossFit King has approximately 200 members — many of them teachers, police officers and other professionals — who pay $175 per month to train there.

“It was a very unfair representation,” Pastuch said. “We have people here changing their lives … and they got slandered. They were called muscle-bound freaks and meatheads. They didn’t deserve that.”

Though the court advised both sides to try to reach a settlement, they did not. Several hearings were held throughout the summer, in which Justice John Galasso heard testimony from both sides.

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