Ten months into the worst pandemic in more than a century — one that's already resulted in over 380,000 deaths in the United States, including more than 4,400 in Colorado — some people are still so incensed over the requirement to wear a mask in public that they'll express their frustration in ways that beg for a jail sentence.
Case in point: The Aurora Police Department is currently asking for the public's help to find the man pictured above. He's accused of attacking a gas-station employee who had the nerve to request that he put on a mask.
This isn't the only instance of anti-masker sentiment circulating virus-like in Colorado right now; they've become so prevalent that an organization tracking COVID-19 safety is monitoring online examples of anger over face coverings, including documented threats of violence.
The just-revealed Aurora incident took place at approximately 10:45 a.m. on January 4 at the Sinclair outpost at 14401 East Sixth Avenue. According to the APD, a staffer at the business asked the man to don a face mask, and in response, "the suspect assaulted the employee, causing serious bodily injury to their face."
The man then split the scene in a blue Audi A series vehicle with a temporary tag, the APD reports.
Such behavior comes as no surprise to the folks behind Colorado COVID Watch, a group that's documented the shifting mask-use policy at Natural Grocers and also authored a petition demanding that Governor Jared Polis enforce laws related to the novel coronavirus.
On December 27, the CCW flagged an item posted on a Colorado anti-masker forum that reads: "It’s time to recognize that the enemy are the thugs in the health department who politically lock you down and enforce masks. Start protesting at their offices, block them from coming or going. Beatings are in order."
Online comments of a similar nature popped up following a protest outside Polis's home. Examples include "Someone should have set it on fire!" and "We will not win if we don't fight fire with fire!"
A more direct warning was sent to Colorado COVID Watch: "Fuck you nazi mask wearing pieces of absolute SHIT!! YOU BELONG IN A TOILET NOT ON THIS EARTH. one day we will put u 6 feet below the soil…"
Members of the organization reported this last incident to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, which determined the sender's identity, according to CCW. Rather than press charges, the CCW asked a sheriff's office representative to contact the individual, which reportedly happened on December 23. Merry Christmas, scumbag.
If you recognize the suspect pictured in this post or have any other information about the case, contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).
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