Florida games shop owner Galen Wood, the owner of Kitchen Table Games had his charges dropped.
Florida State Attorney Bernie McCabe dropped the charges with his office stating, “that the facts and circumstances revealed do no warrant prosecution at this time.”
Wood was previously arrested and charged for operating a non-essential business and traveling to operate a non-essential business.
WTSP reported that Wood was arrested after deputies received multiple complaints and issued warnings on April 3rd, twice on April 7th, on April 10th, and April 16th. However, WTSP reports that Wood would become “argumentative with deputies, and refused to close.”
He was arrested at 6 p.m. on April 16th.
Kitchen Table Games disputed the claim that he was argumentative in a Facebook post to the Kitchen Tables Games official page on April 17th.
Kitchen Table Games Thanks Fans For Support
They wrote, “Thank you all for your support! It has been overwhelming, calls from around the country expressing support. We all have a duty to make sure that we remain a country of Laws, of the people, with government that respects the constitution and officers that enforce the law, not try to make new ones.”
They added, “It’s your duty to say NO when officers are not respecting the Law of our country.”
Kitchen Table Games continued, “I didn’t do anything special or set out to be a martyr. I just asked them to provide a court order or even an interpretation saying why, and after them repeatedly saying they would get a court order, and never saying it was criminal, they arrested me and charged me with a misdemeanor!”
They then concluded, ” We cannot allow this to become the norm in the United States of America! Stand up for your rights which are God-given, not granted by the Constitution but enshrined there so we never forget.”
Wood Defends Himself
Speaking with CW44, following his arrest, Wood stated, “I definitely did not expect… I wasn’t trying to get arrested.”
He added, “Yeah, they put through, put me in the orange jumpsuit, did the whole nine yards, paddy wagon… They put me in basically, general holding for bond.”
Sheriff Bob Gualtieri told CW44 that this was the first arrest for a non-compliance issue. He explained, “It’s the first one and hopefully the last one. It didn’t need to happen. But he caused it to happen.”
He added, “We had been out to his business multiple times and he continued to operate. And quite honestly it was complete defiance. He said that it didn’t apply to him. We pleaded with him not have customers come there, but he decided he was going to do it anyway.”
Wood noted, “They never warned me once that I was going to be arrested. They said they were going to give a court order, which would have been fine.”
He also added that he was complying with the Governor’s order. He explained, “The Governor’s list said that as long as you do only curbside pickup and delivery, that you’re good.”
Sheriff Gualtieri claimed Wood’s business was not essential, “Essential activity he claims he was engaged in is nowhere near essential; it’s a board game business. And I understand these are very, very tough times and people are hurting, but the governor issued an order and made the law that you can’t leave your home except for essential services.”
Wood’s Attorneys Respond To Charges Being Dropped
After the charges were dropped, Wood’s attorneys Oldham & Delcamp Trial Attorneys issued a press release.
The press release declared “Mr. Wood was wrongfully arrested on 4/16/2020 for on two charges of Violation of Emergency Order by Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri. Mr. Wood was operating his business, Kitchen Table Games, on a curbside pickup basis. While it was clear that Mr. Wood was operating his business in a lawful manner Pinellas County Sheriff’s office responded to tips alleging Mr. Wood was operating his business illegally under the Governor’s Emergency Order.”
It continued, “Mr. Wood refused to be denied his right to do business in the limited capacity he was able to under the Governor’s Executive Order Number 20-91 and its subsequent adoption by Pinellas County Board of Commissioners, and he was unlawfully arrested.”
The press release concluded, “Oldham & Delcamp is proud that they were able to assist Mr. Wood in his time of need.”
Kitchen Table Games recommended the law firm writing on Facebook, “These guys are the best, truly good lawyers not afraid to fight for justice.”
They added, “Highly recommend Gordon G. Oldham IV for any criminal law, business law, personal injury, or title closing services. Together with Anthony Sabatini they forced Pinellas county to tap out and drop the charges against Galen.”
They continued, “This is a victory for anyone who believes in the American system of government and the natural inalienable rights to pursue life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Kitchen Tables Games concluded, “Did you know the Florida Constitution expands upon that in Article one, saying that “All natural persons, female and male alike, are equal before the law and have inalienable rights, among which are the right to enjoy and defend life and liberty, to pursue happiness, to be rewarded for industry, and to acquire, possess and protect property.” You have the right to work, and that right is inalienable.”
Kitchen Table Games Reopens
Kitchen Table Games also announced they reopened the store on May 4th. However, they are still practicing social distancing. They are requiring all customers wear face masks and stand 6 feet apart within the store.
They will not have a play space available and are only allowing 10 people in the store at any time.
The shop is also still offering curbside pick-up.
What do you make of Florida dropping the charges against Galen Wood?