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Judge Says Lowe's Customer Smacked Him Over Mask Rule

Texas judge intervened after hearing man berate worker who told him he needed a mask
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2020 8:19 AM CDT

(Newser) – A San Antonio man who berated a Lowe's worker after being told he was supposed to wear a mask was spoken to by another customer—the judge who issued the order requiring masks. But after Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff tried to give the man his business card so they could discuss the policy, the customer smacked it out of the 79-year-old judge's hand, county spokeswoman Monica Ramos tells the San Antonio Current. She says Wolff decided to step in after hearing the man talk to the worker. "The man became belligerent and eventually abusive to this poor lady, and the judge tried to intervene and defuse the situation," Ramos says. Ramos says the judge called the sheriff and got the man's license plate number after the card was slapped out of his hand.

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Wolff issued an executive order last week requiring workers and customers inside businesses to wear masks. The customer, Terry Toller, 47, turned himself in on Thursday and received a citation. The charge against him was reduced from assault on a public servant, a felony, to disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $500, reports the San Antonio Express-News. Wolff said in a statement that he does not want to pursue a criminal complaint against Toller because it would be a "distraction" from efforts to fight the pandemic. Toller's lawyer says his client didn't assault the judge or verbally abuse the cashier. The lawyer says Toller reacted after Wolff, who had spoken to Toller earlier about wearing a mask, approached him again at checkout and "put a card in his face." (Read more Texas stories.)

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