FOLLOWUP: West Seattle Trader Joe’s customer’s mask-refusal rampage

As mentioned in last night’s virus-crisis roundup, a reader reported that a West Seattle Trader Joe’s customer went on a rampage after being asked to wear a mask – on the first day that businesses statewide are mandated to do just that. We promised to seek out the resulting police report, and obtained it – the narrative says there was a bit more to it:

On 7/7/20, at approximately 1031 hours, officers responded to a theft call at the location of 4545 Fauntleroy Wsy SW, Trader Joes. Upon arrival, a community member informed officers the suspect got on a bus prior to our arrival.

RP advised the suspect, a white male in his 20’s, brown hair, skinny build, with all-black clothing, was asked to put a mask on upon entering the location. RP advised because of this, the subject grabbed a case of Nova Vodka, and attempted to walk out the store. At this point, staff took the items out of the subject’s hand. RP advised the subject became angry and began to knock over rope barriers, air plants, then began to uproot a flower pot. According to the RP, the subject then walked away from the location, toward the QFC. … There were no injuries as a result of this incident. Unfortunately, the RP advised there are no security cameras that observed the incident.

39 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: West Seattle Trader Joe's customer's mask-refusal rampage"

  • Harvey July 8, 2020 (1:40 pm)

    I don’t know police lingo. What does RP mean?

    • WSB July 8, 2020 (2:06 pm)

      Reporting Party (the person who called it in).

      • BT July 9, 2020 (11:25 am)

        WSB,Could you please let us know what grocery store is still paying their employees the extra $2 an hour? The pandemic isn’t over and PCC stopped paying the extra cash to their employees. I hope TJ’s, Safeway, QFC still does. 

        • WSB July 9, 2020 (11:49 am)

          I don’t have the time to go look that up right now but most chains have had it on their websites, usually linked from the home pages where you find something about company’s response to COVID-19, if you want to check before you make a shopping decision.

  • ACG July 8, 2020 (1:53 pm)

    Thankfully today at TJ’s everyone was responsible and there were no issues when I was shopping. However, when I stopped at the QFC at Westwood Village afterwards, a man started yelling and dropping the F-bomb at an employee when asked (very politely) to wear a mask. Please, people, be extra kind to the grocery, retail and restaurant workers. You may not know what type of abuse they’ve endured that day from other people. 

    • Anne July 8, 2020 (2:10 pm)

      Thanks for that reminder-no telling what these essential workers have had to deal with.

  • rmkensington July 8, 2020 (2:30 pm)

    People like this need to be immediately pepper sprayed and dragged out of the store.  

    • That will fix everything July 8, 2020 (4:04 pm)


    • Jim July 8, 2020 (7:31 pm)

      Even the police can’t use that now, you want a bunch of kids with that responsibility? Lol

  • Eric Moon July 8, 2020 (2:35 pm)

    Thanks for the specific follow-up on this, WSB!

  • uncle loco July 8, 2020 (2:50 pm)

    If the guy was there to steal a case of vodka you’d think he would wear a mask to begin with. Something don’t make sense with this. Then again nothing makes sense anymore.

    • heartless July 8, 2020 (7:46 pm)

      Made me laugh.  You’re right, it’s a mad world.

  • WS REZ July 8, 2020 (2:55 pm)

    Retailers need to hire security at this point. Why people cant just wear the dang mask is beyond me. Oh right, probably because leadership in this government has blatantly disregarded this virus. Lawd save us all.

    • THAT WILL FIX EVERYTHING July 8, 2020 (4:07 pm)

      Isn’t mandating masks sufficient? What’s the expectation of “leadership”? In-home policing?

    • waikikigirl July 8, 2020 (4:28 pm)

      You mean like the security the stores already have in place and all those security people do is stand at the doors and look at their phones?

    • datamuse July 8, 2020 (4:32 pm)

      I know a lot of bar/nightclub security who are out of work…

      • hoss July 8, 2020 (7:46 pm)

        Being one of those out of work security folks (I work at The Showbox) I’m not sure many of us would jump at this. I mean, having work is definitely better than not having work, but if you look nationwide, folks are getting stabbed and ambushed and all sorts of craziness! I’ll take my run-of-the-mill drunk guy at a rock show any day over one of these non-mask wearing nincompoops!!!

  • newnative July 8, 2020 (4:31 pm)

    security personnel may not have a de-escalating effect. Remember the Dollar Store murder? A security guard asked a shopper to wear a mask, she argued back and then brought in her husband and son, who killed the security guard. I really don’t get why people have to be so extreme.

    • The King July 8, 2020 (6:58 pm)

      The governor put business owners and their employees in the worst position by demanding they enforce this mask rule. They aren’t police, have no training in this area and are dealing with an unruly public at times. The employee at the ice cream store in Leavenworth tried to deal with an unmasked customer and got fired for doing so. The governor should have sent this memo to sheriff and police departments. Threatening business owners to take their license if they aren’t doing what he says is a lawsuit waiting to happen, meanwhile AG Ferguson hasn’t said a word. 

      • Mel July 9, 2020 (5:04 pm)

        The Leavenworth employee got an apology and offer to be re-hired (she hadn’t decided if she was wanting to go back – other local businesses rightly wanted an employee that wouldn’t bow to people potentially spreading a virus).Idiots are going to idiot – including the small-town sheriffs who announce that they’re not going to help support private businesses who rightly refuse service.

    • Drake Stearn July 9, 2020 (2:54 pm)

      They’re scared.Scared people are irrational.Always.The helpful response is compassion not aggression.

  • West Seattle Covid 19 Person July 8, 2020 (5:33 pm)

    Man, this stupid.If I don’t see cops,government, EMT, Fireman wearing a mask then I’m not. This would be over if we had do this in first place. This BS. Like seriously, what you have health condition that  You can’t wear a damn mask  and live on your own, you can’t pay extra money to get grocery delivered. I already got kick out a store  which was stupid because I was a self check out which doesn’t have best 6ft distance, the way worker got in my face telling me I don’t care about other people and I wasn’t only person not wearing a mask. There were 2 adults in line not wearing a mask and she came at me close to my face. Like come on. Don’t tell me I don’t care about other people when you get close to me and only telling me to get out the store, where there other people who aren’t wearing a mask. I’m sorry guys but this just getting out hand of telling people to wear a mask now.

    • Ribes July 8, 2020 (7:40 pm)

      So do you have a health condition or are you just choosing to put other people in danger? I understand it can be uncomfortable, but for the person you infect, a slow death will be infinitely less so. Police and EMTs are wearing them. You can use a doubled up handkerchief – u don’t have to even buy one.

    • heartless July 8, 2020 (7:44 pm)

      Why won’t you wear a mask? It’s unclear from what you wrote.

    • Huh? July 8, 2020 (10:41 pm)

      grow your own food and make sure to cough your special sauce on it.

    • Cogburn July 9, 2020 (6:49 am)

      Would you like some vodka with your rant?

    • WS Covid19 person should have worn a mask July 9, 2020 (8:44 pm)

      If someone doesn’t wear a mask they are a threat to you and/or loved ones. To hell with their feelings about wearing a mask. 

  • psps July 8, 2020 (5:48 pm)

    Right-wing GOP hate radio is awash with “proof that masks do nothing” and motivate this behavior among their listeners.

    • Elton July 8, 2020 (11:07 pm)

      I also don’t get the conservative argument that it’s an assault on your freedom – that’s been the most frustrating POV I’ve seen. There’s a lot of freedoms we have, but we don’t have the freedom to recklessly put other people in danger. You’re not free to shout “fire” in a crowded theater if there’s no fire. You’re not free to run over people with your car, why should you be free to not wear a mask and potentially cause a localized virus outbreak? I’m especially confused about people who are angry about being denied service at a business and claim that it violates their freedom. Unless it’s because you’re part of a protected class, any business has practically any reason to deny service to you even without a statewide mandate. You sacrifice certain freedoms when you walk into a private business (e.g. business that don’t allow people to carry firearms, movie theaters not allowing outside food/drink).

  • dsa July 8, 2020 (6:07 pm)

    It is backwards now.  Before the bandits wore the masks.

  • WW Resident July 8, 2020 (6:39 pm)

    Jesus people, masks suck, but wear them anyway

  • Andrew July 9, 2020 (5:46 am)

    Perhaps there should be a standardized symbol worn on your clothing & dispensed by your physician if you can’t wear a mask. This should take care of the confrontations. The virus is not going away until an effective vaccine(s) is given. 

    • heartless July 9, 2020 (4:20 pm)

      In some ways that makes sense, but I think that

      1) no physician is actually telling people not to wear masks.  The cases where the doctor would both advise going out in public and ALSO advise not wearing a mask are going to be vanishingly rare.

      2) every covidiot who just doesn’t want to wear a mask will just copy that symbol.  Hell, people are already printing out cards (hilariously obviously fake cards) that claim they don’t need to wear a mask.  Sigh.

  • anonyme July 9, 2020 (7:59 am)

    There are several troubling aspects to this story.  One, no security cameras.  What?  How can a business this size not have security cameras?  Next, he was able to use Metro as his getaway, made easy by the fact that fares are not being collected.  Supposedly this is a way to avoid exposing or being exposed to the driver, a problem that could easily be solved with a plexi shield.  However, as of a few weeks ago neither drivers nor riders were wearing masks, so a moot point.  The criminal element of Metro ridership has increased due to this change (not my observation, but that of drivers).

  • Truth July 9, 2020 (3:27 pm)

    WTF does this have to do with not wearing  a mask?!?! This is called shoplifting and you people have allowed it for several years now. 

    • heartless July 9, 2020 (8:30 pm)

      “WTF does this have to do with not wearing  a mask?!?! ”

      Because the actions were a result of him being asked to wear a mask.

      “This is called shoplifting and you people have allowed it for several years now.” 

      As for it being allowed, this story is the complete opposite of that: employees did NOT let him get away with shoplifting, they in fact took the items away from him, and called the police.  Short of physically restraining the man they couldn’t have done much more to disallow shoplifting.

  • brizone July 9, 2020 (4:09 pm)

    Lots of hangry toddlers roaming the streets, apparently…

  • Dave July 9, 2020 (5:03 pm)

    I was at TJ’s just before they shut down and watched a guy walk in take a bottle of Vodka and walk out.  I flagged down a manager and told him what happened and the said its too late he already left the store.  I was like he’s right there and they just shrugged their shoulders like oh well.  

  • Theresa July 9, 2020 (8:01 pm)

    Maybe this has been said but those who fight wearing the mask saying Government shouldn’t tell them what to do, do these folks click their seatbelts in when they get in their car.  

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