Fayetteville business owner says citations threatening sales

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – While trying to keep stores and restaurants safe from the spread of the virus, one local business owner says law enforcement is actually hurting more than helping.

Robert Mann, owner of Stadium Shoppe in Fayetteville, says when a police officer came in Friday-the day before game day- it caused quite the scene. He worries it actually hurt his business by scaring off customers.

“We don’t need any more piling on… it’s reached maximum point we can’t take any more,” he said.

Mann says the timing of the check-in by a Fayetteville police officer was inconsiderate because it was the weekend of a game-which usually is a major sales opportunity for him. He worries it gave the wrong impression to customers who were in the store.

“I had a few customers come up and ask me after it was over what was that all about and it kind of scared them off I think it scared off a lot of people,” Mann said.

In addition to selling game day gear, Stadium Shoppe also sets up tailgates for fans.

Sgt. Tony Murphy with the Fayetteville Police Department says the timing of this check-in had nothing to do with the business, rather new CDC guidelines.

“On Friday that was specifically for the ball game that was coming up you know the tailgating directives that came out we were making sure business owners were aware of those tailgating directives that came out,” Murphy said.

All this to find out, Stadium Shoppe was in full compliance with the city’s ordinances.

“So he went on and on and on and then about the rules and regulations then said well it looks like you all are compliant just understand we’re gonna be out writing citations to anybody who’s not adhering to the laws,” he said.

While Mann is concerned about his business’ income, Murphy says the police department’s priority is the community.

“I just want them to understand that these businesses are struggling enough as it is… we don’t need any more threats to run off businesses. Business has already been run off enough we can’t stand any more,” Mann said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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