On Wednesday, Walmart announced that it was requiring all shoppers to wear masks while visiting its stores. Reportedly, one individual has already been arrested for disorderly conduct and assault after becoming angry for being asked to leave the store when he refused to comply.
Ricky Taylor of West Monroe, Louisiana was shopping at his local Walmart but was asked to leave because he didn’t want to wear a mask, NBC News reported.
After exiting the store, he allegedly used his car to bump a police officer repeatedly. He was arrested and charged with aggravated assault, resisting a police officer, and disorderly conduct.
The incident purportedly began inside when the man shouted “you can’t make me wear a f*cking mask” and “I’m not wearing a f*cking mask” at the officer. Apparently, the officer told Taylor that he was trespassing and needed to leave the Walmart building. He was asked for his driver’s license, which he evidently refused to provide, saying that he could present it but he chose not to.
The 64-year-old then went outside to get into his vehicle.
The officer followed the man to his car and was making note of the license plate number. As the cop was reporting the vehicle to dispatch, the man allegedly “backed his vehicle up and struck him two different times.”
While the officer noted that he wasn’t hit hard enough either time to be knocked over, it was forceful enough to cause him to lose his balance.
“Another officer who responded to the scene asked Taylor to exit his car and attempted to handcuff Taylor, who pulled his arms away, fell to the ground and continued to resist arrest while on the ground,” a statement said, according to NBC.
In the arrest report, Taylor claimed that he can’t wear a mask because of a medical condition. He also claimed that he could not see the officer behind him in his vehicle.
Taylor was booked at the Ouachita Correctional Center and was released after his arrest on a $2,250 bond. He hasn’t responded to requests for comment.
The news comes as Walmart announced that all customers would be asked to wear masks going forward in order to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, which continues to surge in parts of the U.S. Louisiana is currently experiencing a dramatic uptick, with 86,521 confirmed cases of the disease as of Thursday.
As a result, Lousiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a mandate that all people wear a mask when in public. Walmart’s mask requirement goes into effect on July 20.