Two sisters have been charged with attempted first-degree murder in Chicago after they allegedly attacked a security guard who told them to wear face masks and use hand sanitizer inside a store.
Jayla Hill, 18, and her sister Jessica Hill, 21, each face one count of attempted murder in connection with the incident, which was captured on surveillance footage.
The attack played out at a Snipes shoe store on Sunday, where the six-foot-five, 270-pound guard confronted the suspects over the shop’s mandatory mask policy, the Chicago Tribune reports.
The guard asked the sisters to put on a mask and use hand sanitizer — two common requirements often enforced on private property during the coronavirus pandemic.
The two women became irate when he insisted that they follow the policy, according to prosecutors.
The suspects allegedly started filming the security guard with their phones, threatened him, then attacked him when he tried to call for backup. They knocked him down, hit him with a garbage can and started punching him, according to Cook County prosecutors.
The younger sister then grabbed his hair while the other stabbed him 27 times with a “comb knife,” prosecutors said.
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The victim, 32, eventually broke free but suffered more blows to the head and body, the court heard. He kept the suspects at the scene until police arrived to arrest them.
The security guard was rushed to hospital in critical condition and treated for 27 puncture wounds, authorities told NBC News. The injuries did not require surgery.
“It’s the complete randomness of this. It’s terrifying,” Judge Mary Marubio said Tuesday, before ordering the two be held without bail.
Marubio said the outburst was “too random and quickly escalating” for her to permit some form of bail.
“I can’t fashion conditions that would protect this community,” she said.
The women had been acting in self-defence and were “overcharged,” their attorney is quoted saying in the Chicago Sun-Times.
It’s the latest alleged attack to play out over COVID-19 safety measures in North America.
Health officials around the world recommend using masks and sanitizer to prevent the spread of the virus. However, some people have violently rebelled against the minor inconvenience, sparking fierce arguments and physical confrontations that occasionally wind up on video and spill over onto the internet.
The sisters are due back in court on Nov. 4.