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Mask altercation sparks vandalism at Imperial Beach taco shop

Posted at 3:27 PM, Oct 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-09 20:46:38-04

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) - An altercation over a mask turned ugly at an Imperial Beach taco shop on Thursday night.

Just before 10 p.m. at Don Pancho's Taco Shop, surveillance video shows a customer at the walk-up order window. He's using his shirt and sleeve to cover his face.

"Our cashier says he has to wear a proper face mask. The customer gets upset. The cashier offers a face mask that we have on hand for those who don't have masks. He thinks about it and gets upset," said manager Myra Espinoza.

In the video, the man waves his hand, apparently waving off the mask offer, before he begins walking away. Moments later, there is a loud sound.

"He heard something hit the window, and the window falling and shattering down," said Espinoza.

The video revealed the cause: the man took his skateboard and thrust into one of the restaurant's windows.

"It hurts. That's like my house. It's so disrespectful. I wouldn't go to his house and break his window," said Espinoza.

Espinoza says it's not the first time someone has gotten upset over the mask policy.

"We have sliding windows. One gentleman grabbed the sliding windows so hard, it bounced back," said Espinoza.

Still, those types of incidents are rare. Thursday's vandalism is the first time things have turned destructive.

"It's uncalled for and unnecessary. We're all trying to what's best and keep people safe," said Espinoza.

The vandalism totaled about $400 dollars in damage. Anyone with information is asked to call the Imperial Beach Sheriff's Station at 619-498-2400.