US

Shoppers Assault Target Employee After He Told Them to Wear Masks: LAPD

By Lorenz Duchamps

Two men in California arrested earlier this month after assaulting a security guard who broke his arm during the altercation are facing felony battery charges, authorities said.

The two men were identified as 31-year-old Phillip Hamilton, and 29-year-old Paul Hamilton in a news release published on May 11 by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD).

The two suspects were arrested on May 1 shortly after they started a fight with the unidentified security guard, who allegedly asked the two men to wear masks inside the Target retail shop located on Sepulveda Boulevard in Van Nuys, Los Angeles.

The Hamiltons’ bail was set at $50,000, police said. They have since made bail and been released.

The men were confronted by the security guard that day, who confronted them about not wearing protective masks, a statewide mandate, according to the release. The Hamiltons refused to wear a face covering and the security guard made an attempt to escort them out of the store.

While the men were being escorted out of the shop and approaching the exit, surveillance footage released by the LAPD on May 11 shows one of the suspects “without provocation, turned and punched a store employee, causing him and the suspect to fall to the floor,” according to the release.

The suspect and security guard can both be seen in the video hitting the ground hard during the fight, with the guard grabbing for his arm after the altercation.

“While on the ground, the store employee broke his left arm,” according to the release. “Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics transported the store employee to a local hospital and was treated for his injuries.”

In a statement, Target said it was grateful for the support of local police and said it would cooperate with the investigation. “The safety and security of our guests and team members is our top priority,” the company said.

The incident came after a mandate was issued by Democrat Mayor Eric Garcetti in Los Angeles County last month requiring all customers to wear face masks and coverings at essential businesses that remain open amid the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic. Businesses are allowed to refuse entry to anyone not wearing a face covering following this mandate.

Mayor Eric Garcetti
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks at a Los Angeles County Health Department press conference on the CCP virus in Los Angeles, Calif., on March 4, 2020. (Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

Stay-at-Home Order in Los Angeles

Los Angeles County residents can expect to remain under some type of stay-at-home restrictions for the next three months unless any major changes occur in the fight against the CCP virus, officials announced May 12.

“LA County is continuing its progress on the road to recovery, with planned reopening of beaches for active recreation and an expansion of permitted retail activities coming tomorrow,” L.A. Public Health said in a statement.

“While the Safer at Home orders will remain in place over the next few months, restrictions will be gradually relaxed under our five-stage Roadmap to Recovery, while making sure we are keeping our communities as safe as possible during this pandemic,” it continued.

L.A. County is home to 10 million residents and is now California’s CCP virus epicenter, with 34,428 confirmed cases and 1,659 deaths so far, according to public health statistics.

Earlier this week on Tuesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a move to further ease CCP virus restrictions, with northern Californian counties Butte, El Dorado, Lassen, Nevada, Placer, and Shasta being among the first in the state to be granted permission to move more quickly to reopen businesses, including restaurants serving sit-down meals, after showing they have been minimally affected by the outbreak.

However, those restaurants reopening must retool their dining rooms to accommodate social distancing, closing areas where customers congregate or touch food, and stop setting tables with shared condiments such as mustard containers. Menus must be disposable and table-side food preparation is no longer allowed.

Epoch Times reporter Katabella Roberts and CNN Wire contributed to this report.