New Jersey Mall Worker Hit With Belt & Spit At For Enforcing Mask Policy, Police Say
An employee at a popular retailer inside Toms River's Ocean County Mall was reportedly hit with a belt and spit at, after she asked two customers to pull up their face masks earlier this month, authorities tell our sister station, 94.5 PST.
The incident occurred in the afternoon of July 9, the Toms River Police Department announced this weekend.
They say that two customers (a male and female) entered the Zumiez store with their "required face masks hanging around their neck and not covering their face."
When confronted by the female employee about the facial covering policy, the male suspect became irate. Police say he screamed at the employee, and he even picked up a belt that was for sale inside the store. He began "snapping" the belt towards her, and at one point, the belt struck the employee.
Before exiting the retailer, the female suspect turned back around to yell at the Zumiez employee and spit at her.
Police responded to the scene, but the suspects were not found. An investigation is ongoing at this time.
When New Jersey's malls were allowed to reopen in late June, they were given strict guidance from state officials to require facial coverings. Malls are also required to limit capacity to 50%.
In fact, facial coverings are required in all public spaces throughout New Jersey, per the order of the governor. An initial order from Governor Murphy back in April mandated employees and customers must wear facial coverings inside at all times, but that order was expanded earlier this month to include public outdoor spaces, where social distancing isn't possible.
Anyone with information is asked to call Toms River police at 732-349-0150.