LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Ralphs confirmed Friday it suspended a store employee who pepper-sprayed a customer who rammed her with a shopping cart when she asked him to wear a mask.
The July 15 confrontation happened at the Ralphs on La Brea in the Mid-Wilshire District and was caught on cell phone video.
The employee had asked the man to wear a mask or leave the store. Instead, he rammed her with a shopping cart, so she pepper-sprayed him and called police.
Witnesses to the altercation said the employee was defending herself, but she was still suspended for her part in the incident.
"The associate was suspended for five days for not following company guidelines on responding to customers not wearing a face covering and not following de-escalation procedures, which could have prevented the incident," a company spokesman said.
Face coverings are required in the state of California when social distancing cannot be observed. Ralphs also announced this week that customers would be required to wear masks in all their stores, effective immediately.
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