Texas Starbucks barista attacked after asking customer to wear mask
MIDLAND, Texas - A Starbucks barista in Texas was attacked after asking a customer to wear a face mask, Midland officials say.
The Midland Police Department responded to an assault call Saturday morning after an unidentified employee was punched in the face, law enforcement confirmed to FOX Business.
A customer identified by police as Darrel Levon Anderson entered the coffee shop on North Midland Drive Saturday morning without a face mask when a barista informed him of the company's policy. Anderson said he did not have a face covering and punched the employee after they advised him on where to get one, officials said.
A file image shows a customer entering a Starbucks Coffee store on June 10, 2020 in San Rafael, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The Midland Police Department searched the area and found Anderson blocks away and arrested him for assault and trespassing. The department also requested a mental health evaluation for Anderson, and said he may be homeless.
Starbucks follows guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local mandates by state government. Customers who don't wear masks are asked to use the drive-thru or wait outside for their orders.
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"We are saddened by this situation and relieved that the partner is doing well. We want everyone to feel welcome in our stores," a spokesperson for Starbucks said in an email. "We respectfully request customers follow social distancing and safety protocols recommended by public health officials, including wearing a facial covering when visiting our stores."
There were 563 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 14 deaths in Midland County and 152,296 cases in the state of Texas as of Monday morning, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Texas is pausing its reopening plan as coronavirus cases rise, Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday.