Suspect who threatened SLC store over mask policy arrested

Posted at 4:55 PM, Apr 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 00:09:08-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Police arrested a man Monday who allegedly threatened a Salt Lake City clothing store after being asked to comply with the company's mask policy.

William Charlie Lewis, 42, was charged with Disorderly Conduct.

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Employees at The Stockist in the 9th and 9th district said Lewis threatened to shoot everyone Sunday after he was asked to wear a mask inside the store. Lewis yelled and called employees names during the incident.

“My mind just went to Atlanta and Denver and everywhere else that there has been a mass shooting as of late,” said employee Josh Edgar.

After police were called, the store closed early to look out for the safety of employees and the neighborhood.

“I was appalled. I was, like, devastated and appalled, and like, terrified for my employees,” said store owner Helen Wade.

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The incident came a day after Utah's statewide mask mandate ended Saturday, though most businesses still require customers wear face masks.

In a statement Monday, Gov. Spencer Cox condemned those who threaten businesses that continue to enforce a mask policy.

"We strongly condemn the threats of violence made against employees and businesses requiring patrons to wear masks. Individuals who make such threats will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Gov. Cox said.