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Spokane Valley police searching for man who allegedly assaulted grocery store employee over mask rule

The man allegedly threw a glass bottle that hit an employee in the head after an argument stemming from his refusal to wear a mask.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — Spokane Valley deputies are searching for a man who they say threw a bottle that hit a grocery store employee in the head after the store refused him service for not wearing a mask.

According to Spokane County Sheriff's Corporal Mark Gregory, employees at the Grocery Outlet at Sprague Avenue and Pines Road reported a disorder customer who refused to leave and assaulted an employee at about 9:15 a.m. on Friday.

A store employee reported that the man was asked multiple times to wear a mask in the store but refused, according to Gregory. An employee refused to sell the man $15 worth of merchandise, after which an argument ensued, Gregory said.

The man then allegedly walked out of the store without paying, after which an employee confronted him to get the merchandise back, according to Gregory. During the argument, the man allegedly threw a coffee bottle that struck the employee in the head, after which he picked up a shard of glass from the bottle to threaten the employee, Gregory said.

The man got into his car and was last seen driving on Sprague Avenue going westbound, according to Gregory. The suspect was described as a white man in his 20s wearing blue jeans, a white sweatshirt and having long hair.

The man could face charges of second-degree assault and robbery, both felonies, according to Gregory. Anyone with information on what happened is asked to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233 with case reference number 10006322.