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In what could best be described as the latest disproportionate reaction to being asked to wear a mask, a Colorado man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after freaking out to the point of firing on (and hitting) a Waffle House employee who asked him to cover up his face when he's in the restaurant.
The attack happened on either Thursday night or early Friday in the Denver suburb of Aurora, according to ABC News. An arrest occurred the following Monday.
Police had found an employee sporting a gunshot wound after responding to reports of a fight and possible shooting. The victim was taken to a hospital at the time, though he's since been released.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by local TV station KDVR, 27-year-old Kelvin Watson was told by a 25-year-old cook that he couldn't order takeout if he didn't have a mask on.
A day after he was first refused, Watson (who was reportedly a "regular" at the restaurant) came back sort of wearing one, though it wasn't covering his mouth. The same cook turned him away.
The report goes on to say that Watson put a gun on the counter and leveled a threat that he was going to "blow [the cook's] brains out." As a result, police were called. At that time the cook declined to press charges.
That is to say that Watson had an opportunity to avoid legal trouble. Unfortunately for him, however, he returned the next night and was rejected service for a third time, which is when he allegedly slapped the cook across the face. The cook then went out the restaurant's back door and called the cops, but Watson followed him out and made "numerous statements" in which he told the victim that "you better shut the fuck up and serve me." That's when the shooting reportedly happened.
The victim reportedly suffered "serious injuries" to his abdomen, but he's expected to recover. He was shot while running from the restaurant to his apartment, according to ABC.
Like just about every eatery at the moment, Waffle House is currently operating with just takeout or delivery options.
Residents in the Aurora-area have been asked to adhere to state rules, which request that they "wear a face covering or mask when you leave your home."
"We are deeply saddened and regret that this senseless act of violence occurred, causing injury to a member of our Waffle House family early Friday morning,” said a spokesperson for the restaurant chain. "We have learned that the hospital released our injured associate on Friday afternoon to recover from what has been described as a non-life- threatening injury. Our thoughts are with him, his family and coworkers at this difficult time. We ask that anyone who has any information about this incident to contact the local authorities as soon as possible. We are cooperating fully with the investigation, and direct all additional questions regarding the specifics of this incident to the local authorities handling the case."