WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Two men in Los Angeles refused to wear face masks in Target and attacked the security guard who escorted them out of the store.
- The security guard sustained injuries after the suspects turned and punched him.
- The two men are facing felony battery charges and under police custody with a $50,000 bail per person.
Two men in Los Angeles attacked a security guard at Target after refusing to comply with safety regulations that require customers to wear face masks inside the store, the police department reports.
Per the incident report from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Phillip Hamilton and Paul Hamilton were questioned on May 1 about not wearing masks and requested to adhere to store policies. The commotion was recorded at 10:20 AM, after the two customers refused to wear masks.
The security guard moved to escort Phillip Hamilton and Paul Hamilton out of the store, but one of the suspects “without provocation, turned and punched” the guard, causing them both to topple over and fall to the ground. The LAPD said that the security guard sustained injuries from the incident and broke his left arm in the fall.
“A fight erupted between the two suspects and store employees,” police said.
The police department bagged into evidence the surveillance video from inside the store. The video places the two other store employees walking down the aisle about the time Phillip Hamilton and Paul Hamilton were escorted out of the store, before the attack on the security guard. Two other people rushed over to break up the fight.
The attackers are under police custody, facing felony battery charges with $50,000 bail per person.
The Los Angeles County updated security protocols in response to the growing coronavirus threat inside the country. County officials said in mid-April that residents are required to wear a face mask to cover their faces while inside a business or when coming in contact with another person.
These measures are contested in some areas of the country and most recorded incidents provoked threats or violence.
Mayor Will Joyce of Stillwater, Oklahoma ordered that customers are required to wear face coverings inside business stores, but announced revisions to this emergency declaration the day after because of the number of threats to retail workers.
May 1, the mayor posted a series of tweets on social media. “I hate that our businesses and their employees had to deal with abuse today, and I apologize for putting them in that position,” he wrote.
“I am not the kind of person who backs down from bullies, but I also will not send someone else to fight the battle for me,” he added in a second tweet.