Assault charges laid against 2 men after mask confrontation at Vancouver pizzeria caught on camera
VANCOUVER -- Police have confirmed assault charges have been laid against two men following a heated confrontation over masks at a Vancouver pizza restaurant.
Authorities confirmed Thursday that James Henry Davidson and Brenton Thomas Woyat are both charged with assault.
Video of the confrontation, which played out late at night on Feb. 20 at a Pizza Pizza location in the city's Kitsilano neighbourhood, sparked outrage on social media.
The recording shows two men, who were apparently upset after being told to wear masks, calling staff idiots, scumbags and even Nazis.
"You guys are complete morons. COVID is a joke. You are completely brainwashed," one man yells in the video.
The recording later shows a teenager who was waiting outside the pizzeria getting roughed up.
Const. Tania Visintin of the Vancouver Police Department called the behaviour captured in the video "ridiculous" and "embarrassing."
"This young man was just outside a pizza joint trying to eat pizza and he gets assaulted by two grownups," Visintin said Thursday.
According to police, the men entered the restaurant without their faces covered and were offered free masks by Pizza Pizza employees. They still apparently became agitated.
Police said the men drove away from the scene, but that officers pulled two suspects over minutes later. Visintin said one of them is facing a possible charge of impaired driving as well, but could not specify which one.
Visintin said police have been seeing a growing number of incidents involving customers who become belligerent when asked to abide by provincial guidelines in businesses. Masks remain mandated at indoor public spaces across B.C., though there is an exception for those unable to wear one.
"It's unfortunate because these shop owners or store employees are just doing their job, they're just making a living and following the rules," Visintin said.
Woyat is scheduled to appear in court on March 17, while Davidson is due to appear on April 9.