Yoga

Pacifica Beach Yoga owner threatens compliance officer on voicemail | SFGate

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After dozens of complaints, warnings and fines, the County of San Mateo recently filed a lawsuit against Pacifica Beach Yoga alleging that its owner, Tommy Antoon, has continued operating his studio without masks and in violation of indoor gym policies during the pandemic. A San Mateo judge has since issued a preliminary restraining order to keep the yoga studio closed.

But buried in the lawsuit are a host of other serious assertions.

Namely, Antoon — who did not respond to SFGATE’s interview request — was caught on voicemail threatening a San Mateo County COVID compliance officer, Evan Kubota. According to the lawsuit, on Dec. 26, Kubota visited the yoga studio and issued Antoon a $500 fine for “operating a fitness facility indoors, failing to require employees and customers to wear face coverings, and failing to ensure social distancing.” A short time later, Antoon left a message for the county’s business compliance unit.

“Yeah, message is for Evan . . . whatever his little name is. Stop sending me citations. Stop harassing me. You have no authority but to do nothing but harass people and try to bully people. Do not come by my business again or you will face the wrath of me. Do not step on my property, do not call me, do nothing to associate with my business. My business will remain open. I’ll do as I want. You have no right to fine me nothing. You’re a peasant. Stay away.”

On Jan. 5, after receiving more complaints from local residents, Kubota returned to the studio, observed additional health violations, and issued a $3,000 fine. Antoon then left another message.

“Yeah, this is Pacifica Beach Yoga. I don’t, there’s a problem with you guys. You seem to keep coming by my business. You’re not welcome at my business, ok? F— you. You understand what ‘f— you’ means? Don’t ever come by my business again. Stop putting citations, which you know ain’t worth a f—. You’ll never get a nickel. You’ll never get nothing. I’ll never close.

“So do what you think you need to f—ing do, but stop coming by my business because it really bothers my clients. You understand? I don’t give a f— whether you guys live or f—ing die because you don’t care whether I live or f—ing die. So don’t come by my f—ing business no more. I’m tired of telling you this. It’s the same thing over and over again. You’re harassing me. I have a bad heart. You’re about to put me into cardiac arrest, you f—ing scumbags. Stay away from my f—ing business. Understand? I’m open. I’m still open. I just ripped it off the door. I’m ripping it into pieces. You’re not getting paid. I’m running another class right now. Putting it right in your f—ing faces. Every f—ing minute of the day, I’m going to stick it right in your f—ing faces, you lowlife scumbags. Shame on you. Come see me, bitches.”

Antoon, like countless others in California, has not received anywhere close to enough financial support from the federal government or state government during the pandemic. But while other business owners and workers have at least begrudgingly followed state and local ordinances in order to prevent the further spread of an out-of-control virus, Antoon has instead downplayed and ignored COVID’s health risks. It’s safe to say threatening compliance officers isn’t going to help his cause, nor will Antoon’s insinuation, according to the lawsuit, that he won’t be repaying $3,750 in fines.

The Pacifica Beach Yoga Instagram account, which is a mixture of yoga class times and memes making fun of people who are taking COVID seriously, most recently appeared to allude to the San Mateo County lawsuit and a lack of community support by posting a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

On Feb. 4, “the court will evaluate the continuing need for the injunction” against Pacifica Beach Yoga, according to a press release from the San Mateo County joint information center.

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