West Shore man issued two tickets for refusing to wear a face mask

Police issued almost $500 in fines to a West Shore man for not wearing a mask inside two businesses on Monday.

West Shore RCMP said they responded to a report of a man causing a disturbance at a gas station in Langford around 3:30 p.m. Monday.

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When police arrived, they learned the man was refusing to wear a mask inside the Peninsula Co-op gas station. Staff told police they had asked the man to leave the store but he became belligerent, prompting staff to call police.

Police said the 40-year-old man was unco-operative and belligerent with officers, and they arrested him for causing a disturbance. He was issued a $230 ticket under the COVID-19 Related Measures Act for failing to wear a face covering and released with the condition that he stay away from the gas station. He is set to appear in court for causing a disturbance.

On Tuesday, West Shore RCMP were made aware of a video on Facebook that showed the same man being verbally abusive to staff in a View Royal Starbucks and refusing to wear a face covering.

The incident took place on Monday, police said.

Starbucks did not report the incident, but after seeing the video, police contacted Starbucks and started an investigation. They found the man and issued him a second ticket for not wearing a face covering.

Businesses have the right to refuse service to anyone contravening their store policies on masks, and the wearing of face coverings is mandatory is most indoor public spaces.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a major health concern,” said Todd Preston, inspector in charge of West Shore RCMP. “No employee or member of the public should be subject to verbal abuse or be put at-risk by anyone refusing to wear a face covering. This type of belligerent and grossly ignorant behaviour is unacceptable.”

West Shore RCMP said they take these incidents seriously and encourage businesses to report similar incidents.

regan-elliott@timescolonist.com

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