RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The President of the Richmond Food Truck Association has resigned after comments made on social media following the violence at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday.
Billy Metzger, owner of Curbside Creations, attended the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C.
On Wednesday afternoon Metzger posted on his personal Facebook page, “What a day… I made to the front doors of the capital took a few flash bangs but missed the pepper spray and rubber bullets.” That post has since been deleted.
However, it sparked outrage from many people in the metro-Richmond area.
“I made a mistake,” Metzger told NBC12 on Friday. “I shouldn’t have made the post.”
The backlash was quick, but Metzger said it was a misunderstanding.
“There’s a gated area that blocked off the Capitol and that’s where I stopped,” he said.
Metzger added he never breached the barricades around the Capitol nor made it to the doors and said the GPS coordinates on his phone and GoPro footage will prove it.
“I saw a guy over beside me had gotten tear gassed and I was like nah, this is enough for me and made my way to the back and stayed there with some of my friends,” he said.
According to Metzger, he did not know about the breach until he was headed home.
“Absolute disgrace,” he said. “Anybody that condones that behavior should be treated like how I’m being treated.”
Since that post, Metzger said he and his family have received death threats.
“[It makes me] nauseous,” he said. “Watching my wife and my kids, it’s heartbreaking.”
Members with the Richmond Food Truck Association (RFTA) also demanded his resignation as president.
A statement by reads in part:
“Yesterday, the now-former president of the Richmond Food Truck Association made the decision to participate in the rally in Washington, DC, that led to abhorrent violence against our Capitol and American democracy. In doing so, he made an irresponsible decision that is contradictory to the values and beliefs of the highly diverse and community-oriented membership of the association, and a unilateral decision that potentially compromised the businesses of over fifty other food truck operators.”
However, Metzger said he willingly chose to resign.
“Knowing that I was the voice of the food truck association I said I’ve got to step down,” he said. “All those trucks did nothing wrong and they were going to pay the price.”
Additionally, members of the RFTA requested Metzger and his company relinquish their membership with the organization. The request was granted.
“The members of the RFTA wish to make it clear that the participation in, and support of, violations of our laws, acts of hatred, and acts of sedition, are not acceptable and will not be tolerated by the RFTA,” the statement reads. “The members of the RFTA stand for a society of justice, equality, and transparency as to our operations and the standards to which we hold our leadership and members.”
NBC12 has interviewed Metzger numerous times over the years. In 2015 he received the NBC12 Hall of Fame during one of the Restaurant Report segments.
Now after this backlash, Metzger is wondering how he can move forward.
“I’m paying the price,” he said. “Anyone who has done business with me over the years knows my character and the way I run my business.”
Additionally, several people have allegedly contacted Washington, D.C. authorities about Metzger’s presence that day. Metzger said he contacted the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office to show them his whereabouts on Jan. 6.
“Mr. Metzger did contact the Sheriff’s Office regarding having received numerous threats,” a HCSO spokesman said. “He also indicated he did not take part in the rioting.”
The spokesperson added HCSO will not be conducting an investigation into his attendance at the riot because it falls out of their jurisdiction.
On Thursday, just before 11 p.m. Metzger posted on his company’s social media page a statement regarding the “badly worded Facebook post.”
Another statement was sent to NBC12 Friday morning which reads in part:
“I can assure you that I was not part of the disgraceful attack of the Capitol. People who know me also know my character and that I would not condone what happened or be part of any group that would commit such horrendous acts.
I went to the Capitol to take part in what I thought was going to be a peaceful rally. I believe in the freedom of democracy, have always been a law-abiding citizen, and fully support the freedom of speech. As a small business owner of over 20 years, I have been a big part of the Richmond and local communities. I have given back countless times and love and support my community. I want to make fully clear that I care about ALL people, I love our country, and I am a human just like everyone else.
Yes, I made a mistake when I posted on my social media and the wording I used was very poor. I am personally being attacked on social media, my business, my family, and I have received threats, and while I take full responsibility for my post I want to make it fully clear that I did not storm the Capitol. People who don’t know me are attacking me from behind a computer screen to ruin my life and harm my family.”
Metzger went on to say he does not support or condone the type of hate and violence that occurred that day.
“Bottom line is that I should not have posted in a joking manner and the rally was not what I thought it was going to be,” he said. “At the time, I didn’t know what all of this was going to turn into. I ask that people please stop harassing my family and hear that I am deeply sorry for my post. Thank you. Of course, I have stepped down as the RFTA president, I apologize to all of my loyal customers and I am sorry for making such a bad decision.”
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