A pair of California brothers allegedly attacked a Target security guard and broke his arm after refusing to put on face masks inside the store, police and local outlets said on Monday.
The two men were being escorted out of the store in Van Nuys around 10:20 a.m. on May 1 — when one of them suddenly swung around and socked a guard in the face, according to surveillance video released by the Los Angeles Police Department.
“As they approached the exit, one of the suspects suddenly and without provocation turned and punched the store employee, causing him and the suspect to fall to the floor,” LAPD spokesman Officer Drake Madison told The Los Angeles Times.
A scuffle then erupted between the three staffers and the brothers, with one of them shoving a guard into some shelves and then grappling on the ground with him, the footage shows.
The would-be customers, identified as Phillip Hamilton, 31, and Paul Hamilton, 29, had been confronted by employees for being bare-faced inside the store, before the guards moved to escort them out, police said.
Customers have been required to wear face coverings inside Los Angeles stores since April 10.
The guard had to be taken to the hospital with a broken arm, according to local outlet KCBS, which also reported the alleged attackers were brothers.
They were arrested the next day on felony battery charges. Both were initially held in lieu of $50,000 bail but were released from custody May 5.
A Target spokesperson called the incident an “unfortunate altercation” and said it was committed to the safety of customers and employees.
“We’re grateful for the support of local police and we’ll provide any information that can be helpful to their investigation,” the statement said.