Target employee breaks arm in fight with shoppers who wouldn't wear masks, police say

Two men were arrested for felony battery after starting a fight with employees at a Los Angeles Target store over wearing masks inside the store.

Posted: May 15, 2020 6:01 PM
Updated: May 15, 2020 6:01 PM

Two men who allegedly refused to wear masks inside a Target store in California are facing felony battery charges after a fight that left an employee security guard with a broken arm, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The suspects were not wearing face coverings when they entered the store's Van Nuys location on May 1, and were confronted by store employees, police said in a statement released on Monday. They were being escorted out of the store when the fight broke out, police said in a statement released on Monday.

"As they approached the exit, one suspect, suddenly without provocation, turned and punched a store employee," according to the police statement.

Security video of the incident appeared to show another employee then grabbing the suspect and both of them falling to the floor. A third employee grabbed the other man and they also fell to the ground.

One of the guards broke his left arm in the fight and Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics took him to the hospital for treatment, police said.

The two suspects, identified by police as 31-year-old Phillip Hamilton and 29-year-old Paul Hamilton, were arrested later that day. CNN has not been able to determine whether the men have attorneys.

They were released from jail on $50,000 bail, police said.

In a statement, Target said it was grateful for the support of local police and said it would cooperate with the investigation.

"The safety and security of our guests and team members is our top priority," the company said.

The incident came about two weeks after Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an emergency order requiring all customers to wear masks in grocery stores and other essential businesses.

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