LEAGUE CITY (AP) — Police in Texas were searching Friday for a man accused of refusing to wear a mask at a Jack in the Box restaurant and then stabbing the shift manager with what was believed to be a pocketknife.
The incident this week in League City, located just southeast of Houston, follows a similar situation in nearby cities in which a woman was arrested after refusing to wear a mask, first at a bank and then at an office supply store.
League City Police said James Schulz, 53, is wanted in connection with the stabbing at the Jack in the Box late Wednesday. Police said he had not yet been arrested as of Friday.
Police Chief Gary Ratliff said an arrest warrant was issued for Schulz charging him with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. His bond will be set at $40,000.
Police said the incident started when Shulz refused to follow the restaurant’s policy requiring him to wear a mask to protect against the spread of the coronavirus. Police said he then attacked the manager.
The manager had three stab wounds in the arm and upper torso, police said. He was taken to the hospital, where he was treated and released.
Gov. Greg Abbott last week lifted statewide orders requiring people to wear face masks in public, declaring businesses should decide for themselves which COVID-19 precautions to take on their properties. Many businesses have kept their own mask rules in place.
And some businesses that are keeping their COVID-19 precautions in place despite Abbott lifting restrictions have endured anger from people. A co-owner of Picos, a Mexican restaurant in Houston, has said that after saying they were keeping restrictions in place, the restaurant got calls and messages threatening to call U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on its staff.
On Wednesday an Oregon woman was arrested in Texas City on a warrant issued out of nearby Galveston after she refused to wear a mask at a Bank of America branch there last week.
Terry Wright, 65, was arrested after she entered an Office Depot in Texas City and refused to wear a mask, police said. She was arrested on Galveston warrants for trespassing and resisting arrest.