Winslow Police: Arts store owner cited for violating state's stay at home order

Winslow Police officials say an arts store owner has been cited for violating the state's executive order that was issued in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a statement posted to the department's unverified Facebook page Tuesday night, the owner of Authentic Indian Arts Store, identified as 71-year-old Daniel J. Mazon, was cited for operating a business in violation of an emergency decree, which is a violation of state law.

Arizona has been under a stay-at-home order since 5:00 p.m. on March 31. The order was issued by Gov. Doug Ducey as an executive order.

The order, officially titled as a "Stay home, Stay healthy, Stay connected" policy, asks Arizonans to limited their time away from their home. The order has listed a number of activities that are exempt from the order. In addition, a number of business categories are considered to be essential, such as gas stations and grocery stores.

Investigators say they were alerted to the arts store being open for business, after Winslow Mayor Tom McCauley received complaints by other business owners and city resident on April 9. McCauley reported the store to police after he visited the store and warned the operator of the violation.

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On the same day, police responded to the store and contacted a person who claimed to be the store owner, but refused to provide his name. At the time, the person insists he is in compliance, because he has obtained a few rolls of paper towels, a bag of dog food, candy bars and some hay to sell. Officers gave the owner another warning.

Police officials say officers were called out to the business again on April 11. Officers at the scene made contact with a man who claimed to be the business owner, who said his store was in compliance. The man also claimed his constitutional rights were being violated, and that COVID-19 was a "hoax."

Mazon, officials say, was not booked into jail, and was issued a citation to appear in court.

To date, officials say no other business owners in Winslow have been cited for a violation of the Executive Order, except for Mazon.

Winslow is a town about 57 miles (~92 km) east of Flagstaff.

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