Mobile business owner forced to shut down even though mattress stores not listed in executive order

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MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — One Mobile business owner got a surprise on Friday when he says Mobile Police walked in and shut down his store.

Matt Bartoli owns Mattress & Furniture for Less on Airport Boulevard. He told News 5, since mattress stores were not listed, he didn’t think he had to close, but he said everything changed on Friday afternoon when he was with three customers and a Mobile Police officer walked in.

Bartoli said, “The officer pulled up to my store and asked for me to step outside. I stepped outside, and he said I’m going to have to ask you politely to shut down.”

Bartoli said he thought his business would be fine, especially since he says police shut down a hair salon a few doors down from him last week but never said anything to him. He said, “I told the officer that I was going to have to ask him to leave unless he had a warrant, and I had to ask him about four or five times.”

News 5 asked Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson about this incident. He said mattress stores are one of many businesses falling into a grey area of this shut-down. Mayor Stimpson said, “We have weighed in with the governor actually sent her a letter this afternoon identifying some of these businesses that have the questions that you’re talking about that we’re hoping that there’ll be a more definitive answer, so that the business owners will know whether they can remain open.”

Bartoli said his business is now shut down and he does not feel okay with what happened. He said, “I still feel violated that a police officer is able to walk into my place of business and order me to shut down without any kind of a warrant, or without anything really in writing.” 

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