TURLOCK (CBS13) — A man and his children escorted out of a Turlock Walmart by police – and it was caught on camera.
The store made a statement, but so did the woman who recorded.
“I was shopping and I heard a commotion,” said Bobbie Carne.
Carne was just within earshot Saturday at the Fullkerth Road Walmart when she heard a man getting into it with staff, so she started recording on her phone.
“With everything going on in this country turning bad, you just don’t know, Carne said. “The video was in case something happened. I wanted the ‘blues’ to be covered.”
The children were reportedly not wearing masks and the three refused to leave. That’s when police were called to escort them out of the store.
Turlock’s chief of police explained more about the incident in a Facebook post.
“The business had asked the individual who had children with him to wear masks,” wrote Chief Nono Amirfar. “Those individuals refused as is their right. The business refused also to serve them and asked them to leave as is the business’ right. We responded to the business because the managers requested that we respond for trespassing.”
Walmart says it’s not only a statewide order to wear face masks but a corporate policy.
“Maintaining customer and associate safety remains our top priority. We encourage customers to be especially mindful of one another during this unprecedented time and adhere to recommendations and guidance that we all use face coverings while in public spaces,” Walmart officials wrote in a statement.
Carne says the Walmart manager could have handled the situation better but was impressed with the police response.
Turlock police say education is their mission is not enforcement when it comes to wearing masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
“The Turlock police department is not issuing citations for not wearing masks, nor are we going to respond to businesses simply because someone is not wearing a mask. However, if that business refuses to serve you and asks you to leave, you should leave,” said the chief.