Witnesses weigh in on Grass Valley market spat
August 7, 2013
Grass Valley family members are weighing in on an altercation they witnessed at the city's Thursday Night Market July 25, saying their son, 22-year-old Seth Nix, was not involved and only reported what he saw to Grass Valley police officers who responded to the incident to separate those involved.
"He had nothing to do with it," said mother Julie Nix, whose family owns Northern Mines Goldworks, a jewelry store across the street from where a few opponents of California legislation that would add a tax to firearm ammunition reportedly planted a table at the July 25 market to dole out literature and garner signatures for a petition.
However, that impromptu booth was not approved by, paid for or registered with the Grass Valley Downtown Association, which oversees and manages the event, said its executive director, Julia Jordan, in a Tuesday interview with The Union. Political parties aren't given market booths anymore, but those organizations are free to stroll through the downtown streets and solicit signatures, Jordan said.
Jordan and the Grass Valley Police Department indicated Tuesday that one of the activists, a juvenile, became belligerent when association staff members began to remove their table after they failed to comply with a request that the activists do so themselves.
But David Nix said he saw a different antagonist.
"The worker from the downtown association walked by screaming, 'No, no, no.' She was the one that got belligerent first, before the kid did," said David Nix, who was at that time sitting at the family's booth outside their store with his son during the confrontation.
"The kid was just defending himself."
The downtown association worker reportedly picked up the activists' table, threw it on the ground, grabbed their clipboard and took fliers and tossed them into a trash can, Nix said.
"It was bad; it was embarrassing," Nix said.
"I had customers at my booth that walked away."
Nix said the incident prompted him to seek police intervention.
"You shouldn't treat a kid that way," he said.
Police responded and separated the parties but made no citations or arrests. Reports indicate that Rancho Murieta resident Chad Towe was one of the three activists, along with his juvenile son.
Jordan, who did not witness the altercation, declined to comment further on the incident Friday in an email that indicated she was traveling and had limited cell phone reception.
To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4236.