Waukesha police called after Menards customer gets angry over mask policy

NOW: Waukesha police called after Menards customer gets angry over mask policy

WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- It’s a scenario that’s played out before, a customer upset over a store’s COVID-19 mask policy.

That situation happened Thursday at the Menards on Bluemound Rd. in Waukesha.

Police say a man “barged through security after being told he could not enter” without a facial covering.

Eventually, 9-1-1 was called and the man left without incident.

In this case, at a privately owned store, officers leaned on store rules.

“We are not in the business of enforcing courtesies, or regulations, from private industry," Waukesha Police Department Capt. Dan Baumann said.

However, Baumann explained there are cases where customers can be cited, or even charged.

“If there’s a criminal act, especially a criminal act of violence, because someone’s that upset that they chose to be disorderly, we will, in fact, arrest somebody," he said.

Menards told CBS 58 it is not forcing anyone to wear masks, but it is “reserving the right to refuse service” to those who don’t.

There are signs at the front entrance, and sometimes a greeter, to alert people on their policy.

In a statement, they wrote: "“We are embracing this simple common sense precaution to protect our customers and our front line team so we can all go home safely to our families at night. Surface contamination is a huge spreader of the virus. This is following the CDC’s recommendation. Since we have no way of knowing who has the virus and who does not, while hoping for the best, we have to assume the worst, that being that everyone may potentially be infected, and act accordingly.”

Costco is another local store requiring face coverings. Those details are on the store’s website.

“Some businesses allow certain things to happen and I would strongly suggest people to frequent those establishments in which are aligned with their views," Baumann said.

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