Mask clash outside Avon City Market leads to arrest of Avon man

Wearing a Reagan shirt, suspect says 'I’m bringing politics into all this'

Claiming his references were being misinterpreted as threats, a 42-year-old Avon man was arrested and charged with menacing and disorderly conduct July 5 outside the Avon City Market.

The incident started with disputes over the man’s failure to obey the grocery store’s COVID-19 precautions, which require customers to walk in a one-way direction through the aisles and wear a face-covering in the store.

According to police, A 72-year-old man inside the store said when he told the suspect he was traveling in the wrong direction in the aisle, the suspect said “(expletive) you old man, I can read.”

The suspect later told police, “I’m not a cow. I don’t need to be herded through a store.”

Witnesses later reported the suspect saying he had a Smith and Wesson outside. When confronted about this comment by police, the man said it was his Second Amendment right to own a gun, and he did not have one on him at the time.

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“I can say whatever I want to whoever I want,” the man added, according to police.

Officer Brad Stamp then told the man he can say whatever he wants unless it is threatening and menacing.

“He cut me off and said, ‘I said, ‘I have a friend named Smith and Wesson; I do. I also have one named Winchester,” Stamp wrote in his report.

Avon police detained the suspect to have a conversation with him, in which the suspect referenced his military family, Blue Lives Matter, his time in the ROTC, immigration laws, his truck, CNN, the Second Amendment and the Constitution of the United States.

The suspect — who was wearing a teal Reagan/Bush T-shirt — referred to one of the persons who made the complaint against him as “a bleeding-heart liberal” to Stamp.

“I said I was getting the feeling he was bringing — and he cut me off and said, ‘I am. I’m bringing politics into all this, because there’s huge bigger picture to all this, sir,'” Stamp wrote in his report.

The man also used the phrase “This is America” three times and twice told Stamp that he was American. Upon making a second reference to the South African nationality of the person who made a complaint against him, Stamp arrested the suspect, according to the report.

The suspect then asked if someone could take his groceries to his vehicle. 

“I asked which was his vehicle,” Stamp wrote in his report, “and he replied, ‘Oh, it’s the big white Ford over there that says ‘We the people’ with the military sticker.'”

After being booked at the Avon Police Department and given a copy of his court summons, Avon police gave the man a ride back to his truck.

Stamp wrote in his report that additional charges of harassment and a health order violation are also being considered.

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