WATCH: Texas Salon Owner Ticketed for Re-Opening Salon During Coronavirus Shutdown

Dallas police and fire officials respond to salon re-opening in defiance of stay-home order in Dallas County. (AP Photo: LM Otero)
AP Photo: LM Otero

Dallas officials issued a citation to the owner of a hair salon who re-opened her store in defiance of a stay-at-home order issued by the county judge. The owner of Salon Á la Mode says she will not pay the fine and will continue to defy the order and run her business.

Dallas police officers and fire department investigators came to the local hair salon numerous times after the owner stood up to county and state officials, opening her business on a limited-service basis, WFAA ABC8 in Dallas reported. Shortly after lunch, fire department officials issued a citation for what they called her illegal re-opening.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins (D) later sent a cease and desist letter to Shelley Luther, owner of the Salon Á la Mode hair salon, ordering her to close her business The county judge previously issued an order directing most businesses in the county to close over coronavirus concerns.

Dallas police came to her salon several times allegedly responding to complaints about people gathering outside the salon. The store had security guards in place to control access to the store and maintain social distancing, the news outlet reported.

Throughout the morning, Dallas police and fire officials came to the store until they issued her a citation around 1 p.m. If convicted for the citation, Luther could be fined up to $2,000 for her defiance of the judge’s order. In Texas, a county judge is the chief executive of the county government.

Later on Friday, Judge Jenkins issued the cease and desist order directing Luther to close her business until the stay at home order is lifted.

Luther told the local ABC affiliate she is “prepared to take on whatever it is that comes with” re-opening her business. She said she had to choose between paying her lease or her mortgage this month because of the stay-at-home order.

“I don’t want to cause any problems, but when you’re out of money someone has to stand up and say that they’re not helping us by not letting us work,” she explained. Luther is unable to perform any of her three jobs — musician, makeup artist, and hairstylist — because of the lockdown of the county.

When told she could possibly lose her license over the re-opening, she responded, “It won’t matter if I have a license because I won’t have a business.”

Inside Edition asked Luther why she was choosing to break the law by re-opening her business.

“I’m behind on my mortgage,” she explained. “I know a lot of my stylists haven’t paid their mortgage. It’s either come in and make money to be able to feed your family or stay home and freak out.”

“Obviously I don’t want anyone to get sick and I don’t want the virus to spread,” Luther continued. “It will be one of the safer places for people to go rather than going to Walmart or Home Depot.”

“I will not pay the fine,” the defiant salon owner told reporters.

Luther is not alone in her rebellion against county stay-at-home orders. In Houston, the owner of the Federal American Grill, Matt Brice, decided to re-open his restaurant on the city’s west side despite orders directing him to be closed except for curbside orders.

“We’ve complied 100 percent until now,” Brice told the Houston Chronicle. “What I don’t like is that the government is picking and choosing which businesses win or lose. They are sinking the economy. We have to stand our ground and get people back to work.”

After he announced the re-opening of his restaurant for dining-in, customers flocked to his side. Brice said he is only seating up to 30 percent of his capacity in order to maintain social distancing.

Customers reacted positively to the re-opening. “We are ready to get out and have some fun with our girlfriends. I’ve read all the precautions (Brice) is taking, and I think it’s fabulous,” Houston resident Brenda Cheney told the local newspaper.

In contrast to Dallas, Houston law enforcement officials chose to not enforce the prohibition against in-house dining at the restaurant, Breitbart Texas reported.

“No law enforcement officers or agencies attempted to stop or cite Brice for defying Harris County’s stay-at-home order, which limits restaurants to delivery and takeout orders in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus,” the Houston Chronicle wrote.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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