San Diego CA Sept 15 2020
A San Diego man says he has to undergo surgery for a broken nose after being attacked for enforcing the face mask policy at the bar where he works.
NBC 7 San Diego reports that Tony Aversa, a bar manager in Pacific Beach, was attacked over Labor Day weekend after asking customers to wear their face masks. The incident was caught on video.
According to Aversa, a group of patrons showed up on the holiday weekend requesting service but refusing to wear masks.
When one of the men asked to speak with a manager, Aversa met with him and said he’d be “happy to talk” but needed the man to wear a face mask first.
“He claimed our security guard had been rude, and I said, ‘I’d be happy to talk to you about it, I just need you to put a mask on, you’re literally within inches of my face,’” Aversa told the outlet, adding that the man responded by pushing a nearby bartender.
Aversa and the security guard then got between the man and the female bartender to prevent a brawl, when another man from the group of patrons ran up from behind and struck Aversa.
“Watching the videos, it was actually kind of scary, because it could have been a lot worse,” Aversa told NBC 7 San Diego, noting he didn’t see the man charge at him.
“I kind of blacked out for a second,” he added. “Kind of spun around told my other coworker next to me to call the cops immediately because I knew, I felt my nose was broken. I immediately started gushing blood all over the pavement.”
Aversa said he filed a police report, and will have to get surgery after having his nose and sinus cavity broken.
His mom has launched a GoFundMe page to help with expenses and to find the man behind the attack.
“If he just thinks he can get away with it, what’s to stop him from doing it again?” Aversa said.
The incident echoes similar brawls over face masks across the country as essential workers and those in customer-facing jobs work to enforce mask policies.
Last month a teen worker at Sesame Place, the “Sesame Street” theme park in Pennsylvania, had to have surgery after a man punched him over a mask requirement at the park.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also updated its guidance, recommending that retail and service industry workers should not argue with anti-maskers.
“Don’t argue with a customer if they make threats or become violent,” the CDC said.