Penticton RCMP is looking for a woman who allegedly spat on an employee and purposely dropped his phone on the ground because she was refused service for not wearing a mask on Sunday.
At 1:48 p.m., police responded to a report of an assault at the Skaha Lake Liquor Store, said Penticton South Okanagan RCMP Sgt. Jason Bayda.
“It is alleged a woman entered the store without a mask and when asked to put one on, she damaged the employee’s cellular phone and spit at the employee.
“It’s extremely troubling an employee who was only following the provincial health orders, was subject to an assault of this nature,” said Bayda.
“Spitting at someone is a concern anytime let alone in the midst of a pandemic.”
Although police have the CCTV images of the woman, they would like to first provide her with an opportunity to come forward and speak to investigators about the matter.
This incident comes on the same day around 50 anti-mask protesters were outside Cherry Lane shopping centre holding signs against the ‘lockdown’ and COVID-19 restrictions.
The woman who refused to wear a mask inside the Skaha Liquor Store is also alleged to make racist comments about the employee before purposely dropping the staff member’s phone on the ground.
The entire interaction was caught on the liquor store’s video camera and the store’s owner, Rupy Pandher posted the incident to Facebook.
He said the woman threatened to sue the employee and the owner for refusing service. The province has made masks mandatory in all inside spaces. The provincial order also asks that all employees and employers enforce the mask rule ad refuse service to those who don’t wear masks.
The employee can be seen on the video calmly listening to the woman and handing her his phone to speak to his manager.
That’s when Pandher said he asked her to leave. She can be seen purposely dropping the phone.
“It didn’t stop there, she made racial comments to our employee and spitted several times on him,” said Pandher.
Penticton RCMP is asking the woman or anyone else who may have information into this matter to call them at 250-492-4300 or to remain anonymous call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
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