WINSLOW, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - An owner of a store that sells primarily Native American jewelry in Winslow was cited for not obeying an executive order that closes all non-essential businesses.
According to police, people in the community complained that the Authentic Indian Arts Store was still open, so Winslow Mayor Tom McCauley personally visited the store on April 9. He deemed it a non-essential business and warned the owner, 71-year-old Daniel J. Mazon, to close down, police said. Several hours later, police said they went back to the store and found it was still open, violating the state executive orders, plus the City of Winslow executive order and the emergency declaration on March 17. Mazon was warned again to close down. However, he said he was in compliance because he had a few rolls of paper towels, a bag of dog food, candy bars and that he ordered some hay to sell so it was a "department store," police said.
The idea of the order is to create a "proactive and administrative measure to ensure consistent guidance across the state," according to a press release from Governor Ducey's office.
On April 11, two days after the initial warnings, the Authentic Indian Arts Store was once again open for business so police talked to Mazon again. He claimed his constitutional rights were being violated and that the coronavirus was a "hoax," police said. The two officers said there weren't any grocery items or medication inside the store, just a few candy bars, paper towels, and two bags of dog food with a store filled with Native American jewelry. Mazon claimed he had modified the store to stay open. Officers said they didn't agree and when he refused to identify himself, he was detained and handcuffed in a patrol car. He was then cited for operating a business in violation of an emergency decree. He was then released.
Police say no other business owners in Winslow have been cited. Winslow is ranked fifth in Arizona for confirmed, positive cases of coronavirus per capita. Police said Winslow Police Chief Dan Brown and Winslow City Manager John Barkley reviewed the case and agreed with officers that Mazon should be cited.