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July 28, 2015 10:32 AM

Business Owner Claims Harassment From Outside Group

sioux falls, sd

Sioux Falls Police were called to a coffee shop Tuesday morning.  The owner of Josiah's Coffeehouse & Café says he's had to call police as his business is being harassed by people associated with payday lending.

Steve Hildebrand is co-chair of South Dakotans for Responsible Lending, a group that wants to cap the interest rate on payday loans at 36 percent.  It's filed petitions to have South Dakota voters to decide the issue.

Hildebrand says for the last two weeks, his business has been visited by large groups of people who've disrupted staff and other customers.  Hildebrand believes the missionaries behind movement are connected to the payday loan industry. 

Floyd Pickett is the organizer and says he's here to do homeless outreach.  He says the people he's bringing in are paying customers who aren't doing anything wrong.  He has plans to bring in even more people.  On Wednesday, he says he'll bring in a bus of 150 people.

Hildebrand says he believes Pickett works for the man who owns North American Title Company.   

KELOLAND's Angela Kennecke spoke with some of the people who showed up this morning.  They say they are only there to get coffee and food. 

Lamont Banks says he isn't being paid to go to Josiah's and isn't out to hurt the business.

We made several attempts to contact Rod Aycox of North American Title Loan Company to ask him if Pickett was working for him.  Our calls were not returned; we will bring you his comments once we hear back from him.

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