Man allegedly spits in store employee's face in Vancouver's second anti-mask dispute in four days

Feb 9 2021, 2:33 pm

Calling it yet another “selfish action and senseless assault,” Vancouver police said a man was arrested on Monday for allegedly spitting in the face of a convenience store employee after refusing to wear a face mask.

According to the VPD, the 36-year-old suspect, a Vancouver resident, was asked to wear a mask by a store employee when he entered a convenience store near Seymour and Dunsmuir streets.

After the suspect refused, the employee declined to offer any service to the suspect, police said. In response, the suspect turned towards the employee and allegedly “spat directly” in his face.

“After the spitting, a physical fight ensued between the two men,” said VPD Const. Tania Visintin. “The suspect then fled the store in a vehicle.”

However, officers who responded to the scene were able to locate the suspect and take him into custody. Assault charges have been recommended to Crown counsel.

“No employee deserves to be assaulted for simply following the health orders set in place,” said Visintin.

This latest incident comes just days after a man accused of shoplifting was arrested in Vancouver after he allegedly pulled a baton on a grocery store worker who asked him to put on a mask.

According to the VPD, that incident took place this past Friday at a grocery store on Robson Street.

Now, in light of this latest incident, the VPD is reminding everyone that failure to wear a face mask in an indoor public space – as mandated by the provincial health officer – could result in a $230 fine.

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