BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Local leaders and community activists are protesting outside of a Baton Rouge convenience store. Its owner was arrested on Friday for allegedly kidnapping and pistol whipping a homeless man.
Protesters lined up outside of MJ's Food Mart on Florida Street all weekend to send a message to the store's owner, Mustafa Ibrahim. They held signs that said, "NO BUY ZONE" as they encouraged patrons to spend their money elsewhere. Community activist, Arthur "Silky Slim" Reed, went live on Facebook outside of the store after Ibrahim was arrested for allegedly kidnapping and beating a homeless man blocks away from the store.
"Even our homeless people in America have rights," Reed said.
The homeless man Reed is referring to is Terrance King Sr., 41. King says he was traveling from Mobile, Alabama home to California when he missed his Greyhound bus in Baton Rouge. He says he walked over to MJ's Food Mart to get something to eat that night, but when he went back the following day, the store clerk allegedly attacked him.
"The next morning when I went in there, he flipped his script and told me I can't some to his store anymore and he couldn't give me a reason why," King said.
King says he left and found shelter under a nearby overpass. Twenty minutes later, King says Ibrahim had tracked him down. "He held a gun to my head, then he put it to my neck, then to my side and my front torso. He said if I don't get in that truck, he is going to shoot me," King said.
According to the Baton Rouge Police Department, Ibrahim handcuffed King and brought him back to the store, but police were there waiting and Ibrahim was arrested and charged with aggravated kidnapping, assault with a firearm, and second degree battery. Ibrahim bonded out of parish prison over the weekend. 9News went looking for Ibrahim at his store on Monday, but he was not there. The clerk told us he would give Ibrahim our message.
Meanwhile, Reed says he and protesters will continue their march on the food mart until the owner apologizes or closes his doors. "I think that's the only message that we can send is to let them know if you don't appreciate your customers, then you won't have any customers," Reed said.
King says he hopes to be back in California with his family for Thanksgiving, but he wants to make sure the charges on Ibrahim stick. "I just don't want this to happen to nobody else," King said.
Ibrahim never did call WAFB's Cheryl Mercedes to give her his side of the story.