SLC Police Arrest Man Accused Of Threatening Employee Who Asked Him To Mask Up
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Salt Lake City Police arrested a man who they accused of threatening to shoot employees at a local clothing store after they asked him to put on a face mask.
Police took 42-year-old William Lewis into custody Monday afternoon.
He was charged with theft of services, intoxication, and disorderly conduct.
Around noon Sunday, Lewis walked into The Stockist, a Salt Lake City clothing store in the 9th and 9th District. He was told by employees to wear a mask, but he refused. Employees told him to leave the store. That’s when he told the workers he’d be back with a gun to shoot everyone there.
“It was pretty scary for everyone in the store,” said Stockist employee Josh Edgar.
The store closed for the rest of the day out of precaution but reopened Monday.
It was the first of two incidents that happened less than a day after the state mask mandate expired at midnight Saturday.
The second incident happened in Clearfield where a Utah Transit Authority train host said a man allegedly threatened to kill her after she asked him several times to put on a mask.
After the incident on the train, authorities said 39-year-old Adam Robin Green became physical while they were searching him.
Green was arrested on charges of assault, assault against a police officer/military service member, criminal trespass, disorderly conduct, interference with arresting officer, and use or possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the affidavit.
Governor Spencer Cox condemned these incidents Monday morning on KSL Newsradio.
“It’s still illegal to threaten people with their life and we will hold those people accountable and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.
We strongly condemn the threats of violence made against employees and businesses requiring patrons to wear masks.
— Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox (@GovCox) April 12, 2021
Cox thanked Utahs who still choose to wear a mask, even after the statewide mandate expired.
The Governor’s office released a statement that said in part, “Utah has a strong tradition of respecting private property rights. Businesses and public services have the right under the law to continue requiring masks in their establishments if they choose. We support such efforts and thank all Utahns who respect each other’s rights and mask requirements wherever they are in effect.”
Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson echoed the governor’s statement. She also visited The Stockist the day after the incident to express her support for the store’s owner and her employees. She bought a “cute pair of earrings” while she was there.
Stopped by The Stockist to express my support for the store’s owner and her employees. Businesses have every right to protect workers and customers by requiring masks. It’s a small ask to expect people to be respectful and kind. FYI, SLC still has mask mandate. #utpol pic.twitter.com/lnM2p0v1AR
— Deidre Henderson (@DeidreHenderson) April 12, 2021
I echo Gov. Cox’s statement condemning threats of violence against businesses and employees requiring patrons to wear masks. Individuals who make such threats will be prosecuted to the fullest extent for the law. pic.twitter.com/BQupWsWSSU
— Deidre Henderson (@DeidreHenderson) April 12, 2021
Masks were still required in public schools, many local government buildings, the Salt Lake City International Airport, and UTA busses and trains.
Health officials recommended keeping a mask handy when traveling.
Have you or a family member been affected by coronavirus issues in Utah? KSL wants to hear from you. Contact KSL by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The latest COVID-19 stories from KSL can be found here.
How do I prevent it?
The CDC has some simple recommendations, most of which are the same for preventing other respiratory illnesses or the flu:
- Avoid close contact with people who may be sick
- Avoid touching your face
- Stay home when you are sick
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
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