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Play it Again Sports reopens after La Mesa looting

Posted at 12:25 PM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 15:25:27-04

LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) - Dozens of people lined up for hours, as Play it Again Sports reopened in La Mesa on Thursday morning.

Alfredo Lopez was the first in line, hoping to buy new weights.

"It says they're really resilient. So I think that's definitely part of what La Mesa has," Lopez says.

The store had been closed since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. But it had to stay closed longer than expected after looters destroyed the store following protests in La Mesa on May 30.

The protests were over police violence, but the angry mob that attacked the Play it Again Sports came long after the protests ended.

"I was not happy. I was upset that night, for sure," says owner Dan Buxton. "So much had been put into the store and for all it to be taken away at that moment, it hurt."

Buxton says he had to replace the ceiling, the light fixtures, the flooring, windows, displays, and much of his inventory.

But he says the community helped rebuild and showed its true colors.

"Clearly, the real La Mesa is what we saw after May 30 and we're proud to be part of it," says Buxton.

As for the line that greeted him when he opened the store Thursday, Buxton simply said, "Thank you."

"Just like the support we've been receiving for the past 7 weeks, it's the same thing," he says. "People are unbelievable with the support they show. So, we're ecstatic about it."