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Game Store Owner Allegedly Defied Multiple Warnings, Refused to Close for COVID-19 Order

Galen Trent Wood

Come to think of it, playing a table top game with your roommates is a nice idea when social distancing. On the other hand, running a table top game store is a lot more controversial. Galen Trent Wood, 36, is charged with operating a non-essential business and traveling to operate a non-essential business, says the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office in Florida.

Authorities said they got complaints beginning on April about Wood continuing to run Kitchen Table Games a few days days after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a stay-at-home executive order. According to deputies, they were called to the business on the 3rd, 7th, 10th, and 16th. Each time, authorities issued warnings. Each time, Wood allegedly argued with deputies and refused to shut down. The 16th was the last time. Deputies said they saw that the business remained open and that employees were interacting with customers. Wood again refused to close, so deputies arrested him for running a non-essential business during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the official account.

Pinellas County Jail records viewed by Law&Crime show that Wood bonded out early Friday morning on $500. No attorney of record is named. He did not immediately return a request for comment.

The company’s Facebook page features an April 3 post saying they were only open for delivery. The company also asserted they were open as an essential business. From the post:

We are in operation pursuant to the Governor of Florida’s order, which lists categories of essential businesses to include:

“businesses interacting with customers solely through electronic or telephonic means and delivering products via delivery services” as well as “office space and administrative support necessary to provide listed activities”

This means that customers will not be allowed in and the door will not be open – we will only communicate via phone and internet!

Two days later, the store featured a cheeky image edited from The Legend of Zelda. In the 1986 game, an old man in a cave gives the protagonist, Link, a sword. In the Kitchen Table Games post, the store chastised the hero for entering.

“It’s dangerous to be in here!” he said. “I’m doing curb side pick up. Get out!”

The final panel shows Link picking up the sword outside.

[Mugshot via Pinellas County Jail]

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