Grand Cities Mall merchant physically threatened by Hope Church staff

Grand Forks Police Department not involved with actions of former officer   

by Timothy Charles Holmseth on October 16, 2015 at 9:30 A.M. CST

An 81 year-old shop-keeper at the Grand Cities Mall in Grand Forks says he was physically threatened by two staffers of Hope Church during attempts by mall management to quell rumors about a store closing.

David Gerszewski, owner, Precious Metals Gold & Silver Exchange, said he was threatened with violence by Al Maloney, a maintenance worker at the mall.

David Gerszewski is the owner of Precious Metals Gold & Silver Exchange, Grand Cities Mall

David Gerszewski is the owner of Precious Metals Gold & Silver Exchange, Grand Cities Mall

He said Louis Christoffer, mall manager, was present when the threat occurred.

According to Gerszewski, Christoffer and Maloney were angry about things they believed he was telling people regarding his upcoming departure from the mall.

Gerszewski said Christoffer told him that he had learned from “reliable sources” that Gerszewski was telling people he had been “kicked out”. Gerszewski said he did not tell anybody any such thing. Rather, he said, he told people his rent had been increased from $500 per month to $2,000 per month and he could not afford to stay.

“[Al Maloney] got right up in my face and pointed his finger,” Gerszewski said.

He said Maloney threatened him.

“If I ever hear that happens again, I’m going to physically throw you out. That’s exactly what he said to me. Louis Christoffer was standing right there,” Gerszewski said.

Gerszewski said he had several conversations with Christoffer about the subject of his store closing and assured him he was not telling anybody that he had been kicked out. He said Christoffer would not believe him and reminded him he was a “police officer for ten years” and said he “knows what’s going on”.

“Every gall damn time I met with him he told me he used to be a police officer for ten years. Who gives a [expletive] if he’s been a police officer, or a doctor, or whatever,” Gerszewski said.

According to Lt. Derik Zimmel, Grand Fork Police Department, Christoffer “is not presently employed by the GFPD, nor is he presently authorized to act as an agent of the GFPD.  He is affiliated with the GFPD as a former employee.”

Gerszewski was baffled that Christoffer would not believe him on the main point of contention.

Gerszewski said he asked Christoffer, “Are you calling me a liar?”

“Yes,” Gerszewski said Christoffer replied.

“I told him ‘you’re a liar and that whole damn outfit you’re working for are liars,’” Gerszewski said.

Paul Knight, lead pastor, Hope Church, was contacted for comment regarding both stories by Write Into Action regarding this matter. Knight requested an organized meeting with mall management in both instances.

Louis Christoffer was contacted but no response was received before publication.

Write Into Action will continue to monitor this developing story.



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