The owner of a wine bar in California dared officials to arrest him after he defied social distancing rules to reopen his business, and authorities responded very sternly soon after his story hit the local news.
Joseph Tahanians told Bill Melugin of FOX 11 Los Angeles that authorities would have to take drastic measures to keep him from reopening his business, The Wine Cave, in Montrose, California.
"Unless they handcuff me and take me to jail, I will NOT close," said Tahanians.
“Unless they handcuff me and take me to jail, I will NOT close.” TONIGHT: Two local small business owners have had… https://t.co/8IQco1HD2l— Bill Melugin (@Bill Melugin) 1588044385.0
He said that he is losing money every day and if he doesn't open he'll have to shut down his business permanently.
"I haven't received any grants, I haven't received any PPP loans they were supposed to give us," he added.
He urged other businesses to join in his protest according to the original report. But days later, he backed down after local authorities threatened to shut him down.
UPDATE: The owner of The Wine Cave in Montrose tells me the day after our story with him aired, multiple gov't auth… https://t.co/CkMWN5xk30— Bill Melugin (@Bill Melugin) 1588193094.0
According to Melugin, Tahanians said authorities threatened to pull his business license and his liquor license if he kept his business open.
He said that he fears his business is doomed whether it defies the order or not.