As the nation continues to slowly open back up and resume normal activities, some businesses are opting to continue their policy of having patrons wear masks inside their establishments. In Colorado, a man is now facing an attempted murder charge after shooting a Waffle House employee because he refused to wear a mask in the restaurant.
Local outlet KDVR reports that Kelvin Watson, 27, was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder on Monday by the Aurora Police Department. Last week, Watson entered Waffle House during a late-night visit and was told by a waitress that he needed to wear a mask or he wouldn’t be able to order. The restaurant, like many in the United States, was offering carryout orders only.
According to the report, Watson left the Waffle House on May 14 but came back with a mask that he continued to refuse to wear and then brandished his weapon and told the cook would “blow” his “brains out.”
The next night, Watson went back to the Waffle House and was confronted by the cook he threatened. Watson then struck the man in the face and the cook took off running with Watson giving chase, then shooting the man in the body. The status of the cook’s injury wasn’t shared but he was released last Friday from a local hospital.
Director of Public Relations for Waffle House Njeri Boss said in a statement on Tuesday (May 19), “We are relieved to hear that Aurora police have made an arrest for this terrible crime, and greatly appreciate the diligence of local law enforcement. This case involves a senseless act of violence that should not be tolerated in any community.”
Boss said that the shooting victim is currently recovering at home.
The outlet adds that the city of Aurora does not have a mandatory mask policy although officials in the region suggest it as a best practice to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
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