Police in Victoria, B.C. arrested a man Friday in the latest confrontation over the province’s new order requiring masks in indoor public places to combat COVID-19.
Police say they were called to a grocery store in the 900 block of Yates Street around 10:30 a.m., to reports of a man physically and verbally confronting staff over his refusal to wear a mask.
Video posted to Reddit and shared by police shows a man standing face-to-face with a group of employees, calling them “psychopaths.”
“I’m going to take the cop and knock his (expletive) lights out, that’s what I’m going to do, watch,” the man says, before exiting the store.
The person who shot the video told Global News the man had stormed into the store aggressively and began yelling about the mask policy.
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When staff told him they’d called police, he bragged that he was going to fight officers, the witness said.
Read more: Woman in Nelson, B.C. suffers heart attack after being spit upon by man refusing to wear mask
Police say staff had offered the man a mask, which he refused.
“When patrol officers arrived, the man approached them in a threatening manner,” police said in a media release.
The man was arrested, and issued a $230 fine under the Covid Related Measures Act for abusive or belligerent behaviour, police said.
Court records show Robert Smith has been charged with assault with a weapon and uttering threats.
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