A man from rural Manitoba has been charged and is facing thousands of dollars in fines after police say he blew up over being asked to wear a COVID-19 mask.
Russell RCMP were called to the report of a disturbance at a business on Main Street in Inglis, roughly 314 km northwest of Winnipeg, around 2:30 p.m. March 24.
They say a 51-year-old man who’d come into the businesses without a mask got angry and became belligerent when an employee reminded him of the rules.
“He refused to put on a mask, and then began to bang his fists on the counter and against the plastic partition, where the employee was standing,” police said in a release Wednesday.
“He then left the store for a few minutes, then returned and continued to be belligerent and act out.”
Officers caught up with the man a short time later at his own place of business, where police say the man was still expressing displeasure.
“The male was yelling, swearing and being belligerent towards officers and was subsequently arrested,” police said.
As well as charging the man with mischief and causing a disturbance, police also gave the man two $298 tickets for not wearing a mask in a public place and fined him an additional $5,000 for failing to wear a mask in his own business.
The man has since been released from custody with conditions and is scheduled to appear in court on June 23.
The province has been calling on Manitobans to follow COVID-19 public health orders and be respectful to those charged with enforcing the rules.
Last week the province said charges have been laid in connection to the alleged assault of a COVID-19 enforcement officer on Feb. 19.
Since enforcement efforts start last April, the province says 3,541 warnings and 1,120 tickets have been issued to individuals and businesses, resulting in more than $1.5 million in fines.