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Beloved Minnesota Toy Store Calls Police On Family Claiming To Be Exempt From Mask Mandate

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A beloved toy store in southern Minnesota says it reported customers to law enforcement for abusing an exemption in the governor's face mask mandate.

In a Facebook post, Lark Toys said that a family visited the store on Thursday, claiming that all four of them were medically exempt from the mandate. When skeptical staff confronted them, the father became "highly aggressive and threatening."

The threats allegedly continued after store employees asked the family to leave. Staff photographed the two adult family members giving them the finger as they drove off.

"We might have given them the benefit of the doubt, but their hostility and aggressive behavior crossed a line," Lark Toys wrote on Facebook. "We photographed their license number and reported them to both local law enforcement and to the state."

RELATED: Shoppers, Store Owners React To Statewide Mask Mandate

Last weekend, Gov. Tim Walz's face mask mandate went into effect, requiring Minnesotans to wear masks while inside public buildings and business. The only exemptions are for young children and for safety and health concerns.

Lark Toys says it has made exceptions to the mask mandate for some costumers, particularly children with special needs whose parents say they can't tolerate masks. Still, the store says that it has required masks, hand-washing and social distancing since mid-May.

"We have staff of many ages; we have customers with all sorts of health issues; and we have wanted to do our very best to keep everyone safe," the store wrote.

Under the mandate, businesses are obligated to have employees and customers wear masks. They are also tasked with taking "reasonable steps' to enforce the rule. While individuals are not encouraged to call police on people not following the mandate, businesses can report non-compliant customers to law enforcement.

Consequences for violating the mask mandate include petty misdemeanor citations and fines for individuals. Businesses can suffer sanctions.

Lark Toys, located in Kellogg, is an award-winning toy store that sells handcrafted wooden toys. It was named the "Best Toy Store in Minnesota" by WCCO viewers.

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