"I hope it stays closed," said Laura Stroud after the owner of Pangea Piercing in downtown Ann Arbor closed the store on East Liberty after a backlash on social media surrounding comments he allegedly made to Stroud on Tuesday.
While J.C. Potts, a professional piercer, was piercing Stroud's nose, he allegedly told her whites must "stick together" and that studying social justice and advocacy wasn't a good career path for her because she already has a "naturally superior IQ" and she'd be ignorant to think helping minorities was a good career path.
Stroud said when she refused to accept what Potts was saying, he appeared agitated.
Stroud's Twitter post went viral and prompted Alice Held to talk about an unpleasant encounter she had with Potts about a year ago when he was doing two nipple piercings on her.
Held told 7 Action News that Potts began talking about U.S. relations with Ethiopia and inserted the N-word.
Held said she was shirtless when he also made inappropriate comments about her breasts and curves.
"I thought that was inappropriate because I'm not paying to be sexualized by my piercer," said Held outside the piercing shop that was being covered with screenshots, printed on paper, from people who claim to have had unpleasant encounters with Potts.
"I hope that he is not able to open a piercing shop in Ann Arbor or anywhere," said Jessica Prozinski who taped the papers to the front window of the piercing shop. "He is not somebody who should be in a position of power over anybody."
Prozinski also organized a protest Thursday outside the shop on East Liberty.
7 Action News went to a home listed for Potts where stickers for Pangea Piercing could be seen on the garbage can and a parked car, but no one came to the door.
The following was written on the Twitter page for Pangea Piercing:
A public statement from JC Potts will be forthcoming very soon. He has cleared out the shop and is in hiding due to credible threats.
— Pangea Piercing (@Pangeapiercing) August 23, 2018
At the time of this report, Potts had not released a statement on his social media pages or to 7 Action News. He later posted the following video response to the allegations to YouTube.
"He is the owner of this business, and there's not a place for him here in this community," said Held. "I fear he's just going to move to another community."