A restaurant employee was spat on in a dispute over wearing a face mask Friday afternoon at the Brew Belly Kitchen and Sudhaus in Olney, Maryland, according to Montgomery County Police.
Police were called to the Georgia Avenue restaurant and pub at 1:52 p.m. on Friday, according to Montgomery County Police Department Spokeswoman Rebecca Innocenti.
A man entered the restaurant without a mask and was told by a restaurant employee to cover his face, Innocenti said.
The two individuals got into a verbal altercation and the suspect then deliberately spat on the employee.
Officers on the scene issued the man a no-trespass order, which bans him from Brew Belly for one year.
The man was not arrested for second-degree assault because Maryland law says the officers would have had to see the assault to do so.
“Under Maryland law, an officer cannot arrest a person fro the crime of second-degree assault that did not occur in the officer’s presence,” Innocenti said.
Maryland is under an expanded mask-wearing order by Gov. Larry Hogan, which includes all businesses, including restaurants, when persons are not eating or drinking.
Dave Calkins, the owner of Brew Belly, did not respond to requests for an interview by WTOP but addressed the confrontation in a message on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
“Let me be clear, at Brew Belly, we will not tolerate this dangerous and irresponsible behavior in our restaurant, especially during a public health emergency,” Calkins said.
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