New Jersey Woman Arrested and Charged After Being Filmed Assaulting Fellow Staples Customer Over Mask Request

The incident was caught on surveillance footage and sees the woman in question throwing another Staples customer to the ground in response to a mask request.

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Another day, another story about someone responding to wholly reasonable requests to wear a COVID-19 mask with a baffling amount of refusal.

Terri Thomas, 25, is now facing charges after a mask-related dispute resulted in 54-year-old Margot Kagan procuring a fractured left tibia. Thomas was identified and arrested on Tuesday after an incident that occurred at a Staples in New Jersey.

The Hackensack Police Department requests the publics help in identifying the suspect, described as an African-American female, 5’5 to 5’8 approximately 160 pounds. Anyone with information is asked to call the Hackensack police department at 201-646-7777

— Hackensack Police NJ (@HackensackPD) July 31, 2020

According to Kagan, she was inside the Staples in Hackensack—masked up—in order to use a fax machine. Thomas approached a nearby machine, at which point Kagan noticed her mask was being worn pulled down below her mouth, which defeats the purpose.

Kagan is said to have urged Thomas to put the mask back on, prompting Thomas to scream at Kagan (who was seen in police-shared footage using a cane at the time of the incident) before eventually throwing her to the floor of the Staples shop.

In a statement obtained by NBC News, Hackensack police have since announced that Thomas has been charged with second-degree aggravated assault. She’s due for her initial court appearance regarding the charge on Aug. 24.

.@CDCDirector says masks are one of the most powerful weapons we have in the fight against #COVID19. Wearing a mask when you’re in public, combined with social distancing and frequent hand washing, are actions we can all take to help slow the spread:

— CDC (@CDCgov) August 4, 2020

Unfortunately, the Staples throwdown doesn't mark the first incident of its kind amid the ongoing pandemic. Thanks in large part to Trump and Trump-aligned political leaders' continued insistence on weak virus response messaging, the easy task of putting on a mask when out in public has become a source of debate in the U.S., often at the expense of everyday citizens' safety.

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