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Tabletop gaming store owner arrested for violating lockdown order, Pinellas deputies say

Turns out picking up Magic: The Gathering cards is not essential. Deputies say the owner of the Pinellas Park store ignored repeated warnings to close.

PINELLAS PARK — Kitchen Table Games is a place where gamers can build their decks for tabletop card games like Magic: The Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh! and Dragon Ball Super Card Game and test their skills against other gamers.

But it’s not an essential business allowed to operate under the “safer-at-home” order, which is why deputies said they arrested the owner on Thursday.

Related: Arrest a ‘show of hubris’ by Pinellas sheriff, says owner of gaming business

Galen Trent Wood, 36, has run Kitchen Table Games at 9600 66th St. N since 2014. The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said that it has received multiple complaints since April 3 that the store was still open despite being considered a non-essential business restricted from operating under lockdown orders to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Galen Trent Wood, 36, the owner of Kitchen Table Games in Pinellas Park, faces misdemeanor charges of operating a non-essential business and traveling to operate a non-essential business in violation of the "safer-at-home" order, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]

Deputies said they visited the store five times earlier this month, found it was open and watched employees interact with customers. They issued warnings, deputies said, but each time Wood argued with them. The store told customers via its Facebook page that it would be closed for browsing, but still open to sell items via curbside pick-up or via mail delivery.

When Wood refused to close his business on Thursday, deputies said he was arrested on misdemeanor charges of operating a non-essential business and traveling to operate a non-essential business.

The Sheriff’s Office could not be reached for comment late Thursday. Wood was booked into the Pinellas County jail at about 7:30 p.m. and soon freed after posting $500 bail.

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