Man Threatens Violence At SLC Store Over Mask Requirement

Apr 12, 2021, 12:06 PM | Updated: 1:57 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – A Salt Lake City store has reopened after receiving violent threats from a man who walked into the store and refused to wear his mask.

The incident happened at The Stockist, a specialty clothing store in the city’s 9th and 9th District, on Sunday.

Police and store owner Helen Wade told KSL TV on Monday they think the man may suffer from mental health issues.

Wade added she is coming up with new safety measures for her employees.

“Definitely safe enough to open, I’m just feeling really exhausted,” said Wade. She told KSL she is overwhelmed and tired but grateful her employees were safe and for the community’s support.

On Sunday, one of her employees told police and KSL a man refusing to wear a mask made threats to return to the store with a gun and use it after he was asked to leave.

“We’re going to keep all our local COVID protocols because that’s not going to deter us,” said Wade, who also said she’s not scared but anxious. “Now it’s like a new day and I have to figure out what we are going to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”

She added the store is working on how to be prepared if it does happen.

“I should probably do a self-defense class for all my employees,” said Wade.

She also mentioned reaching out to a local police department that does active shooter training or education. She said it is definitely never something she thought would be part of her business plan.

“I never thought I’d live through a pandemic. I never thought I’d wear a mask for 10 hours a day at work, but it’s simply adjusting, educating and moving forward in a positive way,” said Wade.

As of Monday morning, Salt Lake City police said no arrests had been made, but they are looking for the man to educate him.

Regardless of the suspect’s mental health, a fine or penalty of any kind would be up to the justice system.

“If it is a mental health (situation), he does need more help than just going to jail,” said Wade.

Prosecutors usually determine what is appropriate for the individual. However, the store owner has informed her employees if they do see the man again to immediately call the police.

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Man Threatens Violence At SLC Store Over Mask Requirement