Woman arrested at Texas bank after refusing to leave, comply with mask policy
GALVESTON, Texas (KTRK) - A day after Texas rolled back its mask mandate, a woman was arrested at a bank for refusing to leave after being told she had to wear a mask inside.
Body camera footage released by Galveston Police shows officers confronting 65-year-old Terry Wright inside a Bank of America branch on Thursday. The footage shows an officer trying to get Wright to leave the bank at least five times because she refused to follow their mask policy.
“If they ask you to leave, you have to leave,” said the officer in the footage.
“My money is in this bank, and I’m going to take it out,” Wright replied.
Wright invoked the state’s lifted mandate amid her frustration over being told to wear a mask inside the bank, but the officer reminded her that businesses can refuse service to anyone that does not comply with their masking policies, which Gov. Greg Abbott allowed.
Wright pushed back against the officer’s instructions, and the confrontation escalated, with her raising her voice at other bank customers. The incident then became physical, and Wright was taken to the ground during her arrest on charges of resisting arrest and criminal trespass.
Officers say she sustained minor injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Wright, who is on a bucket-list trip across the country in a recreational vehicle, says she was aware of the statewide mask mandate rollback. She also says when she walked into the bank, she was asked to wear a mask and refused.
“I’ve been traveling all over Texas, and I’ve never had an issue with not wearing a mask, and I knew the governor just poo-pooed it,” Wright said.
She says she does not believe in the COVID-19 pandemic, and there is nothing she would have done differently.
“My civil right is not to wear a diaper on my face, and that’s how I feel about it,” Wright said.
Galveston Police issued a statement saying the department is not enforcing mask-wearing. It said the department was responding to a call from the bank for criminal trespass on the property.
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