‘You need to leave’: Viral video shows Colorado Costco employee kicks customer out of store for refusing to wear mask

Nation/world

A video of a Costco employee dealing with a customer who refused to wear a mask at a warehouse in Thornton, Colorado, has gone viral.

Costco’s policy requires members to wear masks while shopping, but the customer wouldn’t wear one and was refused service in the May 16 encounter, according to KTLA sister station WXIN.

In the video, the customer said he was going to put the employee “on my 3,000-follower Instagram feed.”

That prompted the employee — named Tison, according to his name tag — to wave at the camera and say, “Hi, everyone. I work for Costco, and I’m asking this member to wear a mask because that is our company policy.”

“And I’m not doing it because I woke up in a free country,” the customer responded.

When the customer refused to wear a mask, the employee took his cart, which the customer said was “full of stuff.”

“You are no longer welcome here in this warehouse,” the employee said. “You need to leave.”

The video was widely viewed on Twitter and also appeared on Storyful.

The customer, who identified himself as Garrett, said he’d been isolating at home for two months and did not have the coronavirus. He said requiring people to wear masks is “unjust,” and he called those who follow Costco’s policy “sheep.”

A Twitter user identified himself as the employee, Tison, and said he was grateful for the support he received for enforcing store policy.

“People of Twitter, thank you for all of the support,” he wrote. “I was just trying to protect our employees and our members.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”

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