Small business community showing support for store owner after arrest

Posted at 3:12 PM, Apr 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-17 17:50:27-04

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. -- Galen Wood says he didn’t want to make a statement for small businesses shut down by the Governor DeSantis’ statewide "safer-at-home" order.

“I wasn’t trying to get arrested. They never warned me once that I was going to get arrested. They said they were going to get a court order," said Wood.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Pinellas Park business owner arrested for violating safer-at-home order, refusing warnings

But the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office says they did warn Wood at least five times that he could not operate what the state has deemed a non-essential business.

And that includes curbside pickup orders.

“You are talking about a box of Dragon Ball Super Cards yesterday is what we sold and maybe some sleeves to put the cards in and that was it," said Wood.

While we were talking with Wood, a couple drove up to show their support and even brought him a sign calling him a true small business hero.

“I’m sorry that happened to you. But we admire you," said Dawn Viggiano.

“You are a patriot," said her husband, Leo.

They say they own a The Pavilion Shoppes home decor store in St. Petersburg and they are also shut down.

“I sell the same thing as Walmart does and these big box stores. But since I’m not a big corporate machine, I’m considered non-essential," said Leo Viggiano.

Wood tells me he would have considered offering curbside pickup again Friday out of principle.

But he just got released from jail at 2 a.m. Friday and doesn’t want to go back right now.