State Representative Anthony Sabatini, the firebrand conservative who represents House District 32, is taking a quick break from his legislative duties to legally represent a Pinellas Park business owner who arrested for violating the county’s safer-at-home order.
Gallen Wood, the owner of Kitchen Table Games at 9600 66th Street North in Pinellas Park, was arrested earlier this month after deputies say he violated the order when he operated his non-essential business.
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.
Sabatini went on to say Thursday that he will be representing Wood alongside attorneys from the law firm of Oldham & Delcamp.