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Rock 'n' Bowl owner takes fire for social post; says attack on Pelosi 'despicable'

The owner of Rock 'n' Bowl says he condemns the attack but that Halloween and Mardi Gras costumes have been offensive for generations.

NEW ORLEANS — The owner of a couple of high-profile businesses in Mid-City is coming under fire on social media for a post that seemed to champion a patron wearing a Halloween costume making light of the attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband just the day before.

John Blancher, the owner of Rock ‘N’ Bowl lanes at Carrollton and Earhart and Ye Olde College Inn at nearly the same location, put a post on Facebook of a photo of someone at the lanes wearing a white t-shirt with the words “Where’s Nancy??” on it and what looks to be fake blood. The customer is also carrying a sledgehammer.

Paul Pelosi, 82, was attacked in the couple’s San Francisco home on Friday, reportedly by a man with a hammer who was said to be looking for the Speaker.

Blancher’s post, which has since been deleted, said “First entry for best costume tonight” with a sunglass-wearing, smirking emoji.

The Tweet was captured and shared – with comments – by former Gambit editor and current Minnesota-based author Michael Tisserand, who added his own comments “Meanwhile a new low at the World Famous Mid City Lanes Rock ‘n’ Bowl.’

The tweet by Tisserand was retweeted and liked several hundred times and many comments directed at the Rock 'n' Bowl owner were pointed. Some of the ones that came out used the words "appalling," "disgusting," and "depressing among others. Some pointedly targeted the business and its owner. 

Blancher responded to the social media reaction by saying the situation has gotten “way out of line.”

"No one is in favor of the attack on Paul Pelosi. All violence is despicable. The post was a picture of a customer attending a Halloween party in New Orleans. Costumes have been often offensive during Halloween and Mardi Gras for generations. It should not be interpreted any other way. We wish Mr Pelosi a speedy recovery."

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