Activists targeting business over bear-hunt photo, owner says
VALRICO (FOX 13) - It's a post causing a kind of publicity that Mike Garrido never saw coming. His sister sent him a picture of her kill from the state's bear hunt on Saturday. He shared it on social media.
"She sent me a picture, so I posted it to the Florida Hunters Network," Garrido said Monday.
The Facebook post from his personal page was spotted by critics of the bear hunt, who then took aim at his business's page. In just a day, hundreds of harsh reviews popped up claiming he shot the bear. One person even posted that he towed it away in his company's van.
Garrido says all the posts are lies.
"That's what they're making me out to be, just this savage that goes out and kills anything that moves," he continued.
Some of the comments claim to be from former customers, dissatisfied with the family-owned company's service.
"I am a little concerned, only for new customers we get. They may go on the page and say, 'Hey, wait a minute. Look at all these horrible comments, they got a 1-out-of-5-stars; we don't want to deal with these people,'" Garrido's wife Mary said.
It's not just business the family's worried out. Some of the posts are personal and threatening.
"They're talking about taking out one of my family members so I can see how it feels," Garrido said.
The Garridos say they're taking it day by day. They're hoping the buzz doesn't take out their livelihood.
"Everyone can have their own opinion; we live in America. It's fine with me. You can even protest it. But personally attacking somebody and their business for something they don't agree with, it's crazy," Garrido added.
Garrido says his sister is also receiving threats on social media.