Texas 65-year-old woman arrested after refusing to mask up or leave Galveston bank, bodycam shows
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has lifted a statewide mask mandate, but private businesses can make their own rules
A 65-year-old Texas woman found herself tackled and handcuffed after refusing to leave a Galveston Bank of America branch that requires customers to wear a coronavirus mask inside.
A Galveston police officer arrived at the scene and told the woman, whom Fox 26 Houston later identified as Terry White, the situation.
"Ma’am, if they ask you to leave, you have to leave," the officer says in bodycam video.
"My money is in this bank, and I’m going to take it out," she replies.
"Well then you have to abide by their rules," the officer answered.
Even as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has lifted a statewide mask mandate, private businesses are still allowed to implement their own mask rules, capacity limits or other safety guidelines in the state.
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"Businesses have the right to refuse service even if you’re not wearing a mask," the Galveston officer explains. "You need to go and get a mask and then take your money out."
She continues to protest, and the officer tells her "we’re gonna do this the easy way or the hard way."
"What are you gonna do, arrest me?" she replies.
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"Yes, for intruding on premises," he says.
After some more back and forth, the officer adds, "This is not a public place. This is a private business."
Then he tries to usher her out.
"Back up! Back up! Some old lady is getting handcuffed here!" she yells.
In the video, she appears to ignore his orders to put her hands behind her back and asks, "Is anybody gonna get real here? No one’s gonna get real? Wow."
He cuffs her.
"Police brutality right here people," she declares.
"No…no it’s not," a chorus of other bank customers can be heard saying. She calls them "a bunch of sheep."
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White, who accused the arresting officer of breaking her foot, was taken to a hospital for treatment.
She faces charges of criminal trespass and resisting arrest, although refusing to wear a mask on its own is not a crime in Texas under Abbott’s latest directive.