A Texas fast-food restaurant manager was stabbed in a dispute sparked over a mask policy, and League City officials have issued an arrest warrant for a suspect.
The shift manager at the Jack in the Box in the Houston-area city was stabbed Wednesday and treated at a hospital and released, police said.
James Schulz, 53, is being sought on a warrant for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, League City Police Chief Gary Ratliff.
When Schultz entered the store about 8 p.m. Wednesday, he was told he needed to wear a mask in order to be served inside and then allegedly accused staff of not wanting to serve him because he is homeless, Ratliff said
"The suspect walked toward the door as if to leave, the manager turned his back, and the suspect ran up behind him, tackled him and stabbed him multiple times," Ratliff said.
Co-workers ran to help, and the suspect fled, Ratliff said.
The weapon appeared to be a pocketknife, he said. The manager had three stab wounds.
Schulz is known in the area and rides a bike, and police have never had a similar issue with him, Ratliff said.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott this month lifted a statewide mask mandate that was in place because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but businesses can still require them.
Ratliff acknowledged that the issue of masks is polarizing, but he urged everyone to respect the opinions and policies of businesses. If necessary, police will make an arrest for trespassing if someone is refusing to leave a business, he said.
"There's no reason to let it get to that point," he said. "You can refuse to do business at those locations or whatever it is that you choose to do, but there's no reason to result to aggressive behavior like this."
League City is a city of around 103,000 southeast of Houston in the general metropolitan area.