Ace Hardware employee punches customer, shoves him with bat over mask argument in Seattle
In a shocking new incident, a Seattle hardware store worker was caught on video landing punches on a customer after a mask-related altercation went awry. According to the victim of the attack, the brawl took place at an Ace Hardware store on Sunday, June 13, when two customers entered a store called Tweedy and Popp Hardware at Lake City to buy screws. One of the customers was wearing a mask while the other one wasn't despite signs at the store's door asking customers to wear face coverings.
As reported by local channel KOMO, one of the attacked men, Bobby Dixon, said that employees at the store asked his friend to mask up or leave as the station indicated that wearing masks was mandatory. Dixon said everything went downhill from there. News of this employee attacking a customer for not wearing a mask comes amid a spat of similar incidents. For instance, one 'Bagel-Karen' hurled the N-word at a cashier who asked her to wear her mask, and another California cafe owner was charging extra from customers wearing masks.
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Recalling the event, Dixon told KOMO that after his friend was asked to leave the store for not wearing a mask, the friend told the employees that he had been fully vaccinated. "It was a cussing match back and forth between them," Dixon told KOMO about the incident. Dixon's friend then turned to leave. When Dixon headed to the cash register, he claims he met a rather crude cashier who was allegedly offensive to him. This forced Dixon to complain about the employees' behavior.
"You work in customer service, and if you're going to be rude, I'm going to take your name down and give it to your boss," Dixon told KOMO, and this was moments before the assault captured in the video took place. When the video starts, a store employee can be seen approaching Dixon with a bat shortly after he goes to lodge a complaint. The video sees Dixon asking: "You're going to hit me with that bat? You taunt me with that bat?"
The bat-wielding employee then shoves Dixon out of the store, hurling the equipment at him. "It was actually quite terrifying," Dixon told KOMO. "I've never had anybody come at me with a weapon like that, and it was flight or fight, and I was trying to get out of there, and he kept coming at me super aggressively." The video of the incident, recorded by Dixon's friend who was at the store with him, also shows Dixon fighting back and landing a kick on the employee as he knocks the man down before the two of them begin wrestling.
A fight broke out at the Lake City Ace Hardware over masks. When Bobby says he went to complain about poor customer service to a manger, he was met with two employees -- one with a bat.— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) June 15, 2021
Then, they fought.
Bobby joins the show today to discuss what happened. (WARNING: Language) pic.twitter.com/eHQSGuMk5h
Things soon end, with the employee rushing back inside the store but Dixon and his friend stay behind to complain about the incident to the store employees. According to KOMO, employees of the store refused to speak about the incident but a report has been filed with Seattle police. Police told KOMO neither of the customers was wearing masks and despite Dixon claiming he was wearing a mask at the store, the video of him fighting the employee shows Dixon without a mask. The store employee also told cops both the men fought him even though the video shows only Dixon.
"I wasn't threatening, I never made any threats, and neither did my friend," Dixon said during a recent radio appearance on the KTTH show. "I never touched the dude until he came at me, and I was just trying to defend myself." He added: "I wasn't trying to fight. I just kept trying to defuse the situation. And you know, you look in the video, he kept just coming towards me, and you even hear me tell him 'stop.'"
Sharing that he intends on pressing charges, Dixon told KTTH the employee "will have to be terminated". He added: "That's not customer service, and that's not acceptable, and Ace Hardware needs to handle that." He wants surveillance footage from inside the store to be looked at to confirm his version of the story. "I'm kind of shook up," Dixon said in the radio show. "It's kind of humiliating because I'm trying to run a business out here, and it's not a good look for a business owner to be involved in something like that, but I want to clear the air."