A Louisiana man was arrested Tuesday after allegedly running a car into a police officer who had asked him to wear a mask while inside of a Walmart.
Ricky Taylor, 64, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting an officer and aggravated assault with a motor vehicle upon a peace officer, according to a West Monroe Police Department arrest report.
Inside the Walmart, the officer instructed Taylor to put on a mask and follow store policy. Taylor allegedly responded by cursing at the officer, saying "You can’t make me wear a f---ing mask” and “I’m not wearing a f---ing mask,” according to arrest documents.
The records say that after Taylor refused to give his driver's license to the officer, the officer followed Taylor outside and was reporting his license plate to dispatch.
Then, "Taylor backed his vehicle up and struck him two different times," the arrest report said. The officer did not fall but lost his balance.
A different officer arrived on scene, asked Taylor to exit and attempted to handcuff him. A struggle allegedly broke out as Taylor pulled his arms away, fell to the ground and resisted arrest.
Taylor claimed he could not wear a mask because of a medical condition and that he didn’t see the officer behind his car, according to arrest documents. He was taken to Ouachita Correctional Center and released on $2,250 bond the following day, jail records show.
The store allegedly told the officer that they wanted Taylor placed on trespass notice.
Last week, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) issued an order for all people over the age of 8 to wear a mask in public unless they have a medical condition that affects their ability to wear a mask.
Walmart has also released announced a mask mandate, but it does not take effect until Monday.
The West Monroe Police Department announced in a Facebook post that it would not be enforcing the Louisiana mask-in-public rule as Edwards had said “it will not be enforceable by law enforcement agencies.” But the department said it will enforce mandates for masks to be worn inside businesses.
“If you enter a business and are told to wear a mask, compliance is expected,” the police said. “Business owners do have the right to require customers to wear masks and ask them to leave if they do not.”
“Should the customer refuse the business owners request and also refuse to leave when asked to leave for non-compliance, the customer could possibly face criminal charges of trespassing for refusing to leave the premises after being told to do so,” the post continues.