The manager of a bowling alley in Maryland was reportedly beaten after he asked several unmasked patrons to wear face coverings.
The alleged assault occurred Saturday when the manager of Bowl America in Glen Burnie, Md., instructed his customers to leave because they refused to don face masks as required inside the business.
Local police reported that the request turned into an argument. That's when the manager called authorities. He then followed the group of eight outside where he was punched and kicked on the ground by several of the members. An employee tried to break up the incident.
"After [the manager] fell to the ground, several of the other individuals in the group of about 8 individuals began to punch him and kick him," cited Marc Limansky of the Anne Arundel County Police Department. "Another employee came to his aid, and that employee was assaulted as well."
The police spokesperson continued: "It's troubling. They were refusing to wear their masks for safety."
"If the health department responds and finds an establishment is not in compliance, they are looking at being shut down because of this," Limansky told WBAL-TV.
"We've been under this for several months and people have a good understanding. It seems these individuals just didn't want to comply, and this escalated into an unfortunate situation."
The manager was transported to an area hospital to treat his minor injuries, WJZ reported. Law enforcement is still searching for the suspects involved who could face first- and second-degree assault charges. Northern District detectives are asking anyone who may have witnessed the confrontation to call the TipLine at 410-222-4700.
This is not the first incident of this kind in Anne Arundel County. According to police last month, two Cold Stone Creamery employees in Edgewater were similarly assaulted by customers who also refused to wear masks.
The county's health officer stated that several health inspections have received hostility when attempting to enforce COVID-19 mandates.