Customers Show Support For Gastonia Business Owner Following Protests

GASTONIA – Customers are showing support for a Gastonia business at the center of controversy.

Dozens of protesters and counter protesters and riot police faced off in the city after a woman claimed she was mistreated at Tony’s Ice Cream Shop on East Franklin Blvd.

Lillian Beaty, a Gastonia resident, says she hopes Tony’s will reopen soon.  She’s one of dozens of customers who posted sticky notes on the door and window of the shop.

“I really think in a time like this it’s really important for the community to come together and show support for a place like this that means so much to us,” says Beaty.

Chlarissa Harrison, owner of Xcite’s Sweet Connections, says she called the owner of Tony’s right after the protests and offered him words of encouragement.

“He was a great guy.  He said he wasn’t there when this happened.  His family is a family of immigrants and they came here and they couldn’t even speak English, they were discriminated against,” says Harrison.

Harrison says she wants the violence to stop and is asking the community to come together.

More than a dozen people were arrested following Wednesday’s protests