Pennsylvania man charged after physical encounter at grocery store over not wearing mask

Pennsylvania man charged after physical encounter at grocery store over not wearing mask
FILE PHOTO: A Pennsylvania man was charged after he got into a fight with grocery store employees for not wearing a mask. (Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images)

MONROEVILLE, Pa. — A Pennsylvania man was charged after he got into a fight with grocery store employees for not wearing a mask.

Nick Conley, of Verona, captured the encounter May 1 on his cellphone as he tried to walk into a Monroeville Giant Eagle grocery store without wearing a face mask.

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“Stop touching me! That’s the second time you touched me!” Conley can be heard saying on the recording.

He said he was stopped by store security at the door. He said he tried to explain that he had a doctor’s note, exempting him from wearing a mask due to panic attacks.

Conley was asked if he feels he puts others at risk by not wearing a mask.

“It’s hard to say. That’s a really tough question for me to answer. No, me personally, if I was scared, I would stay home. I’m just not scared,” Conley said.

In April, Gov. Tom Wolf ordered businesses to prohibit customers from entering stores if they are not wearing masks.

“We are committed to safeguarding the health and well-being of our team members and guests while creating a safe and comfortable environment for everyone," Giant Eagle said in a statement.

Conley said he has gone to other Giant Eagle stores without a mask and had never been stopped.

He was charged with defiant trespasser, simple assault and disorderly conduct. Police said the charges were not related to Conley not wearing a mask.

“The police department was acting on good faith based on information provided by the store,” Monroeville police Chief Doug Cole told TribLive. “I sympathize with the difficulties the stores have with enforcing the governor’s orders. We’re trying to make sure we get voluntary compliance, but all our charges were separate. It had nothing to do with masks.”

According to TribLive.com, Conley was charged with defiant trespassing, simple assault and disorderly conduct.