LA CRESCENTA, Calif. (KTLA) – An investigation is underway after video captured a man yelling at a group of kids in a California parking lot about having their face masks on as the pandemic continues to rage in the region and throughout the globe.
Around 1:20 p.m. Thursday, deputies responded to a call regarding a man allegedly harassing people in the parking lot of a shopping center in La Crescenta, a spokesperson from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in La Crescenta Valley told KTLA.
The caller told the Sheriff’s Department that the man was pushing juveniles and “poking heads into vehicles,” Sgt. Taylor said.
The man was captured on video wearing a T-shirt that said, “Your mask makes you look stupid,” and yelling that masks don’t work and cause psychological abuse.
The person recording the incident can be heard asking a group of at least five boys nearby if the man yelled at them.
Meanwhile, the man can be heard yelling at the individual recording the incident, saying, “Look at this grown man with a mask on. What a frickin’ coward … Where’d you buy your mask? The stupid store?”
“My kids are forced to wear a f—–g mask, so f–k you,” the unidentified man continues to yell. “Masks don’t work. They’re f—–g child abuse. They’re a part of this tyranny. As long as you idiots keep running around with your f—–g mask on, then we still have a pandemic.”
Some of the juveniles reported that the man had spit on them during the confrontation, the sheriff’s department said.
When deputies arrived, the man was no longer at the scene.
“Crescenta Valley Station is aware of a video circulating on social media regarding a dispute between an anti-mask adult and others over the masking of children,” the department said. “Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station takes all allegations seriously and will be conducting a thorough investigation.”
A group of parents planned to gather at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station on Monday.
Anyone who may have been victimized by this incident is asked to come forward and contact the station at 818-248-3464. The department also encouraged residents to be aware of their surroundings and to not confront irate individuals.
Studies have shown that masks effectively act as a barrier, preventing respiratory droplets from reaching others and limiting the spread of the coronavirus, which is mainly transmitted through such droplets, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In California, masks are required in all indoor public settings — regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status — amid surging cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.