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Owner of Dearborn donut shop given misdemeanor for violating COVID-19 restrictions on indoor dining

Posted at 6:50 PM, Nov 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-22 18:50:16-05

DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) — Since 1966, Donutville USA has been open for business. On Friday, the owner says he was given a ticket, for doing just that.

“There were one or two couples inside the shop having coffee and a donut, so I guess that’s a serious crime these days,” said David Kallman, the donut shop's attorney.

Kallman says Dearborn police showed up with a number of officers to give the owner a criminal citation for violating the recent COVID-19 restrictions that have banned indoor dining.

“It's a misdemeanor charge," Kallman said. "We’ll fight it vigorously, and we’ll fight it all the way to the Supreme Court if we have to.”

Kallman is the same lawyer who represented Owosso barber Karl Manke, who violated governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders earlier this year by refusing to stop cutting hair. Those charges were later dropped after a decision by the State Supreme Court.

"The Supreme Court ruled the governor's orders were unconstitutional," Kallman said. "Now they’re trying to do it through another route and now we’ll see a second wave of lawsuits here. We’re being contacted by people from all across the state.”

A GoFundMe set up to cover the shop's legal fees claims the business allowed a customer to sit down while their spouse used the bathroom. The page has already surpassed $3,000, and Kallman says this case likely wont be the last.

“If the government is going to try to stop that everyday normal interaction, than you’re going to see a lot of lawsuits all over this state,” Kallman said.

Dearborn police confirmed they issued a misdemeanor.

"Our sole intent is to keep our community healthy and safe," said Dearborn police chief Ron Haddad. "The surge of the coronavirus is the highest it's been both in the state of Michigan and our community, and compliance with the CDC and state health department recommendations are essential for everyone's well-being."