Man wearing swastika shirt kicked out of Jay St. Video Games

July 22, 2018 06:13 PM

GUILDERLAND, N.Y. - What began as an uneventful Friday afternoon at Crossgates Mall quickly turned in to something symbolically sickening at the Jay St. Video Store where Ryan Hughes has worked for 10 years.

“A neo Nazi walked in wearing a bright red swastika tee shirt,” Hughes said.

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And when that customer brought a comic book up to cash register, Hughes had no intention of selling it to him.

“All I said to him was you gotta go man you can't be here. It's gonna end bad, you gotta go and he looked at me with his eyes and said, "You're gonna sell me this book,”” Hughes said.

Hughes stood his ground. He says the man threatened him, but eventually left his store. He posted details of that ugly encounter on his Jay St. Video Facebook page, and the story went viral.  

"Well done Jay Street, well done," one woman wrote.

Another person pointed out: that symbol represents genocide, ethnic cleansing, murder and all that fun stuff, things that we don't tolerate.

Still another person suggested: you could just sell him the book and then he would leave.

“I wouldn't want to take his money. I don't want his business,” Hughes said.

Apparently, based on multiple social media posts, the same man wearing the same swastika seems to popping up all over the Capital Region.

“I was kind of shocked to learn that through all the messages from people throughout Albany that we were the only people that asked him to leave,” Hughes said.

Dan Levy asked Crossgates Mall shoppers if they thought Ryan Hughes did the right thing.

“I wouldn't say get out, no, but I wouldn't go out of my way to wait on them,” Michael Reu said.

“I don't know it doesn't matter to me. Everybody has a right to do what they want,” Courtney Bossane said.

As it turns out the Jay St. Encounter wasn't the first t-shirt controversy at Crossgates Mall. Fifteen years ago two customers were thrown out because of what was written on their t-shirts.

In March 2003, father and son Stephen and Roger Downs wore t-shirts that read: Let Inspections Work and Peace on Earth on one side; No War with Iraq and Give Peace a Chance on the other. A swastika is at the other extreme of those sentiments.

“There's people that think my statement is political. It's not. It's more humanitarian,” Hughes said. “This shouldn't be controversial but the climate we have is creating controversy over something that every single person in America should have done.”

Ryan Hughes says the man has every right to wear a swastika, but he believes when the man left his house wearing that t-shirt, he probably wanted to stir controversy, and he was happy to oblige.


WNYT Staff

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