B.C. couple allegedly threatened by man who didn't wear mask, wanted to share the elevator
VANCOUVER -- Mitchell and Stephanie Stewart say they don't feel safe in their own apartment after an alarming altercation with one of their neighbours.
“We’re like sitting ducks,” said Mitchell.
It all started on Friday, when the Burnaby, B.C., couple asked a man who wasn't wearing a mask to take the next elevator.
Stephanie said her husband was polite, asking the man if he could "please wait" so they could use the lift alone.
“The man left the elevator, but then he swore under his breath," she said.
The couple reported the incident to the strata council, because the man was breaking the building’s "one family at a time" rule.
The next day, he confronted them.
Video shot by the couple shows the man swearing at them and threatening them.
“Son of a b—-, I’m going to get you guys,” the man is heard saying.
Stephanie told CTV News the man shoved her. The cellphone video shows him following the couple to the elevator, cursing and repeating the threats.
“I was really trying to get us out of that situation, because this guy, we don’t know what he’s capable of,” Stephanie added.
Mitchell said they're now staying inside as much as possible, and when they do leave, he escorts his wife everywhere.
B.C.'s new mask mandate requires people to wear a mask in many indoor public spaces, including common areas of buildings. But there have been several recent altercations involving people who refused to put one on.
In a Penticton liquor store on Saturday, a woman without a mask was denied service. Surveillance video from the Skaha Lake Liquor Store shows her dropping an employee's phone in protest, and then spitting.
The incident was reported to police. Mounties confirmed they have identified the woman and are trying to locate her.
One thousand kilometres away in Smithers, Mounties were called when a man without a mask was refused service in bank, and woudn’t leave.
“Front line officers arrived and engaged the patron in conversation in an effort to gain compliance and cooperation,” wrote Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey. “Despite the efforts of the police officers, the man was detained and escorted from the business. He was eventually released without charge and directed to review the current Public Health Orders in place.”
Some people have legitimate medical reasons for not wearing a mask, and they are exempt from B.C.'s mandate. So are people who are unable to physically put on or remove a mask on their own.
Increasingly, there are those who refuse them for political reasons.
“There’s this feeling that if I do what everybody else in my in-group does, then I’m really truly part of that group,” said clinical psychologist Joti Samra. “Then we get group-think. We know that sensible and rational decision making can go out the window, and we’re much more driven by emotional arguments which aren’t necessarily grounded in any source of science.”