Seattle Ace Hardware fight over masks gets physical

A Seattle man claims he was attacked by a baseball bat-wielding clerk at an Ace Hardware location in an altercation that stemmed from his friend’s refusal to wear a coronavirus mask in the store.

Bobby Dixon, the young man seen in viral video of the altercation, told Jason Rantz of KTTH Radio Seattle Tuesday that he went into the store masked, but his friend declined to put one on.


“They pretty much told him, ‘put a mask on or get out,’” he said. “When he was walking out the door the dude at the counter started running his mouth, being pretty vulgar, and so my buddy started cussing.”


The two went on jawing each other until Dixon said he no longer had a desire to shop there.

“At that point they started cussing at me,” he said. “They were just attacking us for no reason pretty much, for not having a mask. He was complying with them when they said if you’re not wearing a mask you gotta get out.”

After stepping out, Dixon said he turned around to try and get the employee’s name to report him to the manager.

“That’s when I was met with the baseball bat,” he told Rantz. “I’m lucky he didn’t hit me or swing with it, you know, I was able to rip it out of his hands.”

The video begins at that point – showing a blonde-haired man holding a baseball bat inside the entranceway alongside another man in an Ace shirt and a pulled-down mask. Dixon says the bat-wielding man was a store employee, but he is not shown wearing a uniform or name tag in the video.

He shoves Dixon out the door, then drops the bat, and the two raise their fists and square up.

With a lot of swearing from onlookers and after a clumsy scuffle in which both men land blows, the masked bat-man heads back inside and Dixon gets into the passenger seat of a white pickup truck.

Neither the maskless friend, who recorded the video, nor the unmasked man in the Ace shirt got involved in the physical altercation, as far as can be determined from the recording.

Dixon told Rantz the store declined to release the aggressor’s name but that he had filed a police report and intended to press charges.

Seattle police told local media that Dixon and store employees gave starkly conflicting accounts of the incident and an investigation was ongoing. They said store workers claimed neither Dixon nor his friend were wearing masks and that they started the fight.

Calls to the Lake City franchise went unanswered and its voice mailbox was full Tuesday evening.

Ace Hardware corporate did not immediately respond to a request for comment.




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