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Woman inside Charlotte spa cited for violating N.C. ‘stay at home’ order

Updated: Apr. 3, 2020 at 11:48 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Police in Charlotte cited someone who they say is a manager of a local day spa with violating North Carolina’s ‘Stay at Home’ order.

A WBTV reporter spoke with the owner of the business on Friday morning after the citation.

The owner, Kimberly Wu, says the woman cited was not an employee of the spa, but instead worked for the non-profit Metro Proponent Foundation.

The investigation began on Wednesday when Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police got a tip from the community about a violation of the order at the Cool Cave Day Spa on Monroe Road.

Officers say they went to the business, advised the owner and employees about the violation and encouraged them to voluntarily comply with the order. The officers went back several hours later and found the business was still operating and again encouraged them to follow the order.

When police went back to the business the following day, they found it was still operating.

As a result, police issued the on-duty manager, 28-year-old Cheree-Alexia Hercule, a citation for violation of emergency prohibitions and restrictions under NCGS 14-288.20A(2).

“The CMPD is continuing to manage the order through voluntary compliance, but the department will enforce violations through citations and/or misdemeanor arrests if voluntary cooperation is not gained,” the release states.

Wu says people were inside the spa because they were volunteers collecting and distributing donations for people because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Wu says the spa, along with the non-profit collected hand sanitizers, masks and food to help distribute to people in need.

“The day they wrote the ticket, there were no issues,” said Wu. “There were no client, no stylists, not any type of business that was happening.”

WBTV reached out to the non-profit, Metro Proponent Foundation, about the citation and the donations, but did not receive a call back.

A WBTV reporter spoke with two volunteers on site on Friday. Inside, there were stacks of cleaning materials, alcohol, wipes and good, which they volunteers said were being donated to the community.

“We are still there today, we are accepting donations, we are giving away things for people in need,” Wu said.

When WBTV asked police if they were cited for helping collect and distribute donations for non-profit, police responded in an email saying “The investigation revealed that the business was operating as a massage and day spa at the time the citation was issued.”

The community can report violations of the Stay at Home order through the CLT+ mobile app, online at www.cmpd.org, or by calling 3-1-1.

This story will be updated with more information.

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