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Harmed by riots, small businesses now face a curfew

Matrice Davis, 711 worker at the corner of Charles and Saratoga, placing closed signs on the front entrance that was busted open Monday during the looting. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

Casey Yang, owner of Coffee-Land, usually closes his shop downtown at about 5 p.m. and is out the door about 15 minutes later. But on Monday, there were a few late sandwich orders that kept the store open longer and delayed his going home. That delay proved to be fateful. As he was preparing to leave, he noticed a group of teenagers gathering in front of his store on Charles Street downtown. Yang, 54, felt the situation was dangerous so he locked his door and hid in a corner. But the group of about 20 teenagers saw him, smashed the glass door; demanded money; ransacked the store; hit him in the head with a container; and stole his briefcase. Despite the ordeal, he plans to open his doors again on Wednesday and dismissed the idea of relocating the shop. "We have to keep [the] business here. We have no choice," Yang said. Small businesses throughout the city, even those that haven't been directly impacted by the riots, are hurting as a result of the destruction that started on Saturday, and erupted into full scale riots on Monday. The violence comes as an off shoot of anger over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray from injuries suffered while in the Baltimore Police Department's custody.

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