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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Deputies: Customer threw glass bottle at employee and stole items after being asked to wear a mask

UPDATED: Fri., Jan. 15, 2021

Witnesses told deputies a man became “irate” over grocery store employees’ requests that he wear a mask, ultimately attacking an employee with a glass bottle, according to a Spokane County Sheriff’s Office news release.

Once he is arrested, deputies will recommend felony charges of robbery and second-degree assault, according to the release.

Around 9:40 a.m. Friday, Spokane Valley Deputies responded to a report of a disorderly customer who was refusing to leave the Grocery Outlet near the intersection of Sprague Avenue and Pines Road, according to the release.

A store employee told deputies the man was not wearing a mask and employees asked him several times to put a mask on, the release said.

After ignoring the requests, at the checkout stand, an employee refused to sell goods costing about $15 total to the man. He “became irate,” and the two argued, the release said.

The man walked out with the items without paying before an employee confronted him, the release said. The suspect threw a coffee bottle at the employee that struck him in the head before shattering on the ground, the release said.

The customer then picked up a piece of the broken bottle, “holding it as a weapon,” and threatened the employee, the release said. Though the suspect initially refused to leave, before police arrived he’d fled, driving westbound on Sprague, according to the release.

Witnesses described the man as white, in his 20s, with long hair and wearing a white sweatshirt and blue jeans, the release said.

The employee struck in the head declined medical attention at the scene, according to the release.

Deputies ask anyone with information regarding this incident to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233, reference #10006322.

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