Verizon is seeking the identity of a woman who, upset over the company’s mask policy, yelled a racial slur as well as assaulted and cursed at employees in one of the company’s New York stores Thursday, Sept. 10.
There is video footage of the incident, which occurred at a store in Manhattan’s Upper East Side on 69th Street and 3rd Avenue. The woman, who is white, became highly confrontational after she refused to heed the company’s policy that all customers wear a mask when entering their stores during the coronavirus pandemic.
After telling the woman she needed to leave, she attempted to take one of the store’s phone chargers with her. When a Black employee walked over to stop her from doing so, the woman began cursing and threw a metal-looking object bin at the employee.
“You get your f—ing s**t away from me, b—h. Do not grab my f—ing hand,” the woman yelled. The employee replied, “I did not touch you” after trying to reach for the charger. Video footage doesn’t show contact with the customer’s body.
The woman replied, “Yes you f—ing did.” When the employee reiterated she needed to leave the store, the woman hurled a metal-looking object at the employee before saying, “Get the f— away from me before I beat the s—t out of you.”
The woman continued yelling, “You can f—k yourself, you f—ing, ugly ho.” When another black employee came to his co-worker’s aid and told the customer she needed to leave, she continued yelling insults that ended with her yelling the N-word before leaving the store.
“I’m not walking around a god—n f—ing city without data, you pieces of s–t,” she yelled. “You’re not only f—ing breaking contract, you’re enforcing illegal laws and you don’t f—ing tell me what to do and you don’t grab my f—ing hand, you f—ing fat ugly N-word!”
A New York Police Department spokesperson confirmed an employee was injured and treated at Presbyterian Hospital, Gothamist reported. An investigation is ongoing.
The incident comes at a time when many people without masks are getting more emboldened to confront people about their preference. Verizon said it won’t put up with such behavior and wants to impose a lifetime ban on the woman to stop her from doing business with them or entering its stores again.
“Our retail employees are Verizon’s heart and soul,” Verizon’s VP of Sales and Operations Krista Bourne said in a statement. “These dedicated teams work tirelessly to ensure customers remain connected during these unprecedented times. That said, they cannot and should not tolerate abuse from customers. I appreciate the professionalism our employee has shown, however the behavior by this customer is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
Company spokesman David Weissman echoed Bourne’s sentiment. He pinned a tweet on Twitter Sept. 12 asking the public to contact Verizon security if they can help identify the woman.
“The health and safety of our employees and customers is our number 1 priority. We will not tolerate behavior like this,” Weissman said.