Police have arrested a UK vape shop owner who had stayed open despite the COVID-19 lock down.
Ian Grave, owner of the Dog House Vaping Co store in St Helens, Merseyside, wasn’t taken into custody gently either.
Photos from the Daily Mail shows 4 burly officers throwing the 45-year-old to the ground, slapping on handcuffs, before bundling him into a waiting police van.
The incident began when police arrived at the vape shop ordering them to shut down as they were not an ‘essential’ service.
The shop worker rang Mr Grave who on arrival tried to make a case that vape shops were indeed essential during the coronavirus shut down.
Reports say an argument ensued and police took the drastic action.
Ian said on release it seemed to him police had no idea what ‘law’ he was breaking but arrested him any way:
I thought we were doing everything right, I only had one member of staff in and we only let one customer in at a time and then wiped down every time.
I think we’re providing a vital service selling nicotine products.
Off licences are still allowed to stay open, so why not us? You can also go to DIY stores, are nails essential?
But they turned up and said we had to shut.
I asked under what law did I have to close and they didn’t know
It’s unclear if Ian has been charged with any offense and said on his release:
It was totally over the top. They twisted my arm up my back, I was in agony.
When I got to the station they didn’t know what to charge me with. On the board where they write things like “mugging” or “burglary”, for me, they wrote something like ‘shopkeeper’.
I was in a cell for a couple of hours before they let me leave. To be fair the officers in the station were great, it was just the ones who came to the shop.
Bloody hell the world is going mad!
I recently wrote that vape shops MUST be classed as essential during the current coronavirus lock down and the UK Government MUST step in soon to make this the case.
Maybe if vape shops began selling fags and booze during this crisis the police would turn a blind eye?
A day or so after his arrest Ian was still supplying local vapers with items through home deliveries.
However according to the Doghouse Facebook page, that has now ceased too.
Like I said – crazy times we live in people.
As for the police action in this incident?
Let me know your thoughts on this in the comments below….should the vape shop owner have been arrested?