Menlo Park store owner faces threats, backlash for attending pro-Trump protest in DC

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- The Menlo Park candy store, Sugar Shack, is facing threats and getting trashed online. So much so, that store had to close early on Thursday.

The backlash started after a photo of store owner Suzi Tinsley at Wednesday's pro-Trump protest, started circulating online, linking her to the mob that stormed the Capitol.

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"I don't know whether she went into the Capitol (Building) or not. And I'm not saying that she did. And I'm not saying that she didn't. But she partook in an anti-democracy protest," says local youth activist, Henry Shane. "Call this out and say, 'This not ok!'"

Shane, who says he is linked with numerous social causes, says people are demanding that shoppers boycott Sugar Shack. Hundreds took to Yelp to attack Tinsley and her store.

"To support an unhinged president, and then come back to you community with that photo? I mean, this is the start of something for sure," says Shane.

But Tinsley disputes how she is being portrayed.

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Activists at last year's Black Lives Matter rallies in the Bay Area say they witnessed a much different reality on the ground at their protests compared to Wednesday's siege at the Capitol.

She says she was in Washington to attend President Trump's last rally and is adamant that she doesn't support those who rampaged through the Hall of Congress.

She wouldn't talk on camera, but in a written statement to ABC7 News, Tinsely writes:

"I do not have social media and didn't post any images of myself at the rally. I was there for a peaceful march and shared photos via text with a few friends. I left the rally when the crowd became unruly and I was pushed to the ground. I returned to my hotel at that point, long before the agitators stormed the building. Just like every other American, I watched in horror as the chaos unfolded on television. I couldn't believe my eyes and remain appalled at what I saw. I love my community, I love my country, and I hope those responsible for storming our Capitol Building are held fully accountable."

Tinsley says she only sent the photo to a few friends, which were then leaked online.

Many of Tinsley's neighbors came to her defense, denouncing calls to shut the store down.

Tinsley and Shane may not share the same political beliefs, but they both agreed to sit down and meet.
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