PARK CITY, Utah – A woman was allegedly assaulted and injured by a fellow shopper in a Park City Walmart for not wearing a mask, according to the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.
Before you go in, masks need to go on. For Walmart and a number of other nationwide chains, this is the new requirement for shoppers.
However, in places like Salt Lake and Summit County, where mask mandates have been put into place, this is the way it has been for nearly a month.
“We have not cited or prosecuted anyone in Summit County for not wearing a mask, or for anything to do with the pandemic,” said Lt. Andrew Wright with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO).
Up until last weekend, SCSO had only received a few calls for pandemic-related offenses such a people or businesses not complying with masks or other safety protocols.
But around 9 o’clock Saturday night, SCSO received a report that they had never heard before – a woman having been assaulted for not wearing a mask while she was shopping at a Walmart in Kimball Junction.
“As she entered the store, another male shopper approached her,” Wright said. “The shopper yelled, ‘Thanks for wearing a mask.’”
SCSO said the woman told deputies she had a medical condition which prevented her from complying with the county-wide mask mandate.
“This male got [his] shopping cart and allegedly hit the other shopping cart multiple times out of frustration that this woman was not wearing a mask,” Wright continued.
The incident was caught on surveillance footage inside the store. SCSO said the video was low-quality, however the man could clearly be seen "ramming his cart into the woman’s a number of times."
Ultimately, Walmart employees asked the man to leave, which he did.
According to SCSO, the woman claimed she was injured by the cart, prompting an investigation. Deputies do not know who the man is, but if convicted, he could face misdemeanor charges for assault.
“We’re all trying to navigate a very difficult time in our lives, and unfortunately it sounds like emotions got involved and actions took place that aren’t acceptable,” said Wright.
Now, as investigators search for the person responsible, SCSO asks that others be respectful.
“You don’t necessarily see a disability or a medical condition just by looking at an individual, and so in this exact scenario, someone walks in without a mask, it’s not your job to be the mask police,” Wright continued.
In counties where masks are mandated, law enforcement can issue a citation to people or businesses who are not in compliance.
If you see a business or person violating a mask order, SCSO recommends reporting it to the health department or local law enforcement.