A Texas man is wanted by the police for stabbing a fast-food worker over the restaurant's face mask policy. According to a report by WDTN 2 News, the attack took place at a Jack in the Box restaurant in League City, Texas, on Wednesday night. The attacker is still on the loose, but security footage showing his unmasked face has been circulated.
The man reportedly entered the Jack in the Box without a mask on, and employees asked him to either put on a face covering or use the drive-thru. Images posted by the League City Police Department show a heavy-set man in jeans, a flannel shirt and a camouflage hat, with a gray beard and dark hair. According to Police Chief Gary Ratliff, "the suspect belligerently refused and said [the restaurant] did not want to serve him because he was homeless and began yelling that he would be contacting his attorney as he was filming with his cell phone."
The attacker then turned as if to leave, and was escorted to the door by the shift manager. However, just before stepping out, the man tackled the manager, stabbed him several times, and then fled the scene. The manager was transported to a nearby hospital and treated for three stab wounds. He has now been released.
Police responded to a call about the attack at 8:10 p.m., but the attacker was already gone. They have now issued an arrest warrant for the man, but they have no suspects. They are still searching the area for him and asking for the public's help in identifying him.
Ratliff acknowledged that the attack might have had something to do with confusion about the changing rules for face masks in public spaces. Earlier this month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the state's mask mandate and its limits on indoor dining room capacities. However, each business is still free to set its own rules and policies, including a corporate rule that customers must wear face masks to be served.
"All I would ask is that people respect the opinions and the policies of these businesses," Ratliff said. "If we have a situation that we get a call, in reference to someone who is failing to abide by the policy of their business, then we will respond to the call. If they refuse to leave, they will be arrested for criminal trespass. There's no reason to let it get to that point."