A North Carolina business owner and father of three defied a stay-at-home order and reopened his tattoo business on Wednesday.
However, within ten minutes of the reopening, Matthew “Jax” Myers was cuffed by police, escorted out of his business, and charged with “violating ‘Emergency Prohibitions and Restrictions, North Carolina General Statute 14-288.20A,’ an offense that carries up to a $1,000 fine or a maximum penalty of 60 days in jail if convicted,” according to The Blaze.
The government, via a stay-at-home order, has effectively shut down Myers’ Apex Tattoo Factory for weeks, now. He has not qualified for any loans or assistance programs.
Myers said he was aware of the lockdown order and police warned him not to reopen, but he saw no other way.
“I’m a law-abiding citizen. I’ve done nothing wrong,” the shop owner told WRAL-TV, adding, “When you can put a father of three in jail for opening his business because nobody will give me a loan, and let alone help me. My own bank, nobody is helping us.”
“He has spent years building up this business, and for it to be taken away after being shut down for so long would be horrible,” said Amber Myers, the shop owner’s wife.
“I respect the Apex Police Department,” added Mr. Meyers. “And it’s probably with the heaviest of heart of all that this has to happen in Apex.”
According to The Blaze, Myers made public his intent to reopen via social media, and that’s when “[s]ome people who saw the Facebook post notified the police.”
“While understanding of and generally cooperative with officers, he refused to come into compliance with the Proclamation and was subsequently arrested without further incident,” a police statement said.
On Wednesday, Apex Tattoo Factory posted the following message via Facebook:
Jax was arrested in protest today. He wanted me to post this in the actual event to let all know he never intended harm to anyone, but he himself and our family is struggling and he wasn’t just gonna stand and do nothing. God bless you all and thanks to all our supporters.
Ive watched the struggle of man, ive watched as the systematic removal of the constitution of these great states gets stripped of everything that God gave us happen like as if no one else see’s it. God has been removed so the devil is filling the gap. Know today what God gives you let NO MAN take it away! My family and friends watched there brothers die in combat, others to suicide fighting ptsd and depression all because of one thing. They believed in an oath they took to defend that very document. I prayed long n hard in a place where the names of those who died defending freedom names rest. And today i publicly announce that i have taken that oath that proceeds as follows “ I, Matthew P Myers, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” Those who will freely sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither liberty or safety.. God bless our home and our friends.. Rough seas are ahead .
M.Myers aka FatJax
Meyers has since received a swell of support online.
“This is a disgrace,” said conservative pundit Dan Bongino on Monday, commenting on a video of the arrest. “I’ll be getting a tattoo from this man as soon as he’s ready. Updates on my show this week.”
This is a disgrace. I’ll be getting a tattoo from this man as soon as he’s ready. Updates on my show this week. https://t.co/I6vydKns01
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) May 3, 2020
“Whoever gave the order to arrest this man should be named, shamed and shunned in his community,” said Todd Starnes.
Whoever gave the order to arrest this man should be named, shamed and shunned in his community. https://t.co/TAkt8xi1Uw
— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) May 4, 2020
Police arrest Apex tattoo artist who opened in defiance of order @newsobserver pic.twitter.com/kYaZgxP1zT
— Josh Shaffer (@joshshaffer08) April 29, 2020
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