ESCONDIDO — Koffie Co. owner David Chiddick, who has garnered attention in recent weeks for defying state-mandated shutdown orders, attended the protest rally in Washington, D.C., on the day the US Capitol was attacked earlier this month.
Chiddick, who posted on his shop’s Instagram from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 6, says he was not among those who stormed the Capitol in an attempt to overturn President Donald Trump’s election defeat.
In a Jan. 6 Instagram video, Chiddick tells viewers to “not stand by” and to “fight the good fight.”
“This is not the time to run from a fight, this is the time to run to a fight,” he said in the video. “We can either flee the scenario and have our kids deal with it, or we can fight right now for our nation.”
Five people died as a result of the rioting that followed Trump’s call for his followers to march to the Capitol. Among the dead was San Diegan Ashli Babbitt, an Air Force veteran who was shot by police and fatally wounded during the attack.
In a separate video posted a few days later, Chiddick admits to taking part in what he calls the “peaceful rally” in D.C., but says he wasn’t “one of those idiots that took it too far,” adding that they should be “prosecuted.”
“We’ve received a tremendous amount of evil and hate personally toward our shop, to our employees, to our children. … If you want to know what side we think we’re on, it’s confirmed that we are on the right side,” Chiddick said.
Chiddick’s presence in D.C. quickly caught the attention of people on social media, with many urging others to stop supporting the Grand Avenue business altogether.
A Reddit thread about the coffee shop owner has garnered hundreds of comments, with some people debating whether to report him to the FBI based on his videos, which don’t actually place him at the Capitol during the riot.
The Escondido City Council heard a public comment from an Escondido resident at the Jan. 13 meeting criticizing Chiddick and the Koffie Co.
“I would like to bring attention to the remarks and actions made by the owner of the Koffie Co., the owner of the establishment was in the Capitol the day of the insurrection. … He traveled across the country, came back and might have been infected with the virus. … These actions are unacceptable and should not go unaddressed,” said the resident.
Chiddick and the Koffie Co. could not be reached for comment.
Last month, after Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered several Southern California counties to enforce stay-at-home orders due to critical hospital conditions, the Koffie Co. quickly took to social media to tell users that it would remain open for indoor and outdoor operations.