Assault charges have been laid against two anti-maskers who verbally abused staff members at a Pizza Pizza and pushed a young bystander outside of the establishment.
The incident occurred on Saturday, February 20 just before 11:30 pm. Two men entered the Pizza Pizza, located on 1893 Cornwall Avenue in Kitsilano, and weren’t wearing masks.
When they were advised about the mask policy and offered some by staff, police say that the situation escalated.
“Both men then became verbally aggressive, swearing, and making racial slurs at the staff,” Tania Visintin, VPD Spokesperson, tells Daily Hive. “Staff refused to service the men.”
The suspects then left the restaurant and “began pushing and shoving a younger person.”
Fortunately, another witness called the police. The two men took off in a vehicle but were tracked down moments later.
Impaired driving and assault charges were recommended to Crown Counsel and Visintin has confirmed that the assault charges were approved.
She stresses that while everyone is frustrated with the ongoing pandemic, rules like mandatory mask usage need to be followed.
“I can appreciate everyone is frustrated with the pandemic and the provincial health orders that are put in place,” she says. “However, this is our reality right now and as a society, we need to adhere to these rules and always wear a mask when entering an indoor public space.”
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Customers who ignore public health orders and bully retail staff appear to be an ongoing trend across the Lower Mainland.
Earlier this month staff at Kerrisdale Cameras were berated by an anti-masker who came into the store. They then received angry phone calls and nasty online reviews from other anti-maskers after speaking out about the incident.
An Italian bakery on Commercial Drive also spoke out about the impact on employees’ mental health.