On April 16, authorities arrested 36-year-old Galen Wood, owner of Kitchen Table Games in Pinellas Park, FL for operating a “non-essential” business and violating a safer at home order.
Wood was charged with operating a non-essential business and traveling to operate a non-essential business.
The Capitolist reports – According to deputies, the 36-year-old business owner continued to operate his store that specializes the tabletop gaming after the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners issued the order late last month. Authorities say they were called to the business five times between April 3 and April 16, due to complaints and tips that the store was open and social distancing guidelines were not being followed.
Wood was issued a warning on each occasion, before deputies conducted a non-essential business compliance check at his store on April 16. Wood refused to close the store and was arrested shortly after.
Wood is the first Florida business owner to be arrested under such orders.
Sabatini, a Republican lawmaker and outspoken proponent of limited government, has been vocal throughout the coronavirus outbreak, calling for the state of Florida to reopen as more and more Floridians continue to file for unemployment. He maintains that stay-at-home orders are unlawful and illegal.
The Howey-in-the-Hills legislator, who also serves in the Army National Guard and is a graduate of the University of Florida’s Law School, says that Wood did nothing wrong and that his recent arrest is another example of the government infringing on people’s rights.
“I’m proud to be able to take this case — Mr. Wood did nothing wrong and yet suffered the consequences of unlawful government overreach,” Sabatini said.
Today, State Representative Anthony Sabatini announced on Twitter that the 6th District Circuit Court dropped their case against Galen Wood.
Sabatini, the firebrand conservative who represents House District 32, who took a quick break from his legislative duties to legally represent Galen Wood, the owner of Kitchen Table Games in Pinellas Park. FL.
According to Sabatini, the court’s decision makes it clear that there is NO valid legal authority for either the state or local emergency orders.
The State Attorney’s Office 6th Circuit just DROPPED their case against my client Galen Wood—the first Floridian to be arrested for opening a “non-essential” business. It’s clear there is NO valid legal authority for either the state or local emergency orders. #liberty #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/daiDdrz92y
— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) May 1, 2020
This is a massive win for businesses who are suffering after being deemed “non-essential” by state governments.
Rep. Sabatini has been ringing the alarm bells over “non-essential” businesses being shut down in the state of Florida. Yesterday, Sabitini praised Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis’ plan opening up businesses again in the state of Florida. Sabatini tweeted, “We don’t need to continue trying to appease the hysteric media,” adding, “The present lockdown did NOT make us safer.”
Watching @RonDeSantisFL presentation, it’s clear the right step for FL is to OPEN EVERYTHING IMMEDIATELY—not another week or indefinite period of lockdown. We don’t need to continue trying to appease the hysteric media. The present lockdown did NOT make us safer. #COVID19
— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) April 29, 2020
NBC News – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled a plan Wednesday to lift the state’s stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus crisis that he called “safe, smart, and step-by-step.”
The plan will go into effect on Monday in every county except Dade, Palm Beach and Broward counties, where most of the Covid-19 cases in the state have been reported, DeSantis said.
But before DeSantis released any details, he took a swipe at the “doom and gloom” media and critics who faulted him for the state’s slow response to the unfolding crisis.
“A lot has been done to promote fear,” DeSantis said. “We haven’t seen an explosion of new cases.”
The restrictions that have been in place in the Sunshine State since early April — and which were set to expire Friday — will be lifted “in a very measured, thoughtful and data-driven way,” DeSantis promised earlier.