By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Ralphs confirmed Friday it suspended a store employee who pepper-sprayed a customer who rammed her with a shopping cart when she asked him to wear a mask.

The July 15 confrontation happened at the Ralphs on La Brea in the Mid-Wilshire District and was caught on cell phone video.

The employee had asked the man to wear a mask or leave the store. Instead, he rammed her with a shopping cart, so she pepper-sprayed him and called police.

Witnesses to the altercation said the employee was defending herself, but she was still suspended for her part in the incident.

“The associate was suspended for five days for not following company guidelines on responding to customers not wearing a face covering and not following de-escalation procedures, which could have prevented the incident,” a company spokesman said.

Face coverings are required in the state of California when social distancing cannot be observed. Ralphs also announced this week that customers would be required to wear masks in all their stores, effective immediately.

Comments (45)
  1. DCUSA says:

    This is ridiculous! Are the employees not allowed to defend themselves? She should sue the ignorant mask fool AND Ralph’s!

    1. LaRhonda Bernard Torrence says:

      Absolutely!!! These doggone folks have lost their minds!! If it’s not “Karen” trying to take over and run the neighborhood, you got old Grandpa Ernie trying to ram folks with shopping carts!!, I’d sue the mess out of him and then turn around and sue Ralphs!!!

  2. Kevin Smalley says:

    I am beyond furious with Kroger/Ralph’s! I’ve shopped at this store for years and this associate is professional and hard-working! She asks a customer to wear a mask, which is in line with Kroger’s policies, and both state and local orders. In turn she gets either threatened with assault (man rams shopping cart in her direction), or is actually the victim of assault (unknown if he hit her). She defends herself and calls police and this is how Kroger repays her for her dedication through this covid nightmare? I’m seriously ready to go picket this store front until they reinstate her, her earnings, and give her an apology. Further, they must do better in the future!

  3. Rich Tanner says:

    Common sense seems to have disappeared from the corporate leaders of Ralph’s! Everyone has the right to defend themselves: we need protection from irritated customers or terrorists pretending they are BLM protestors.

  4. G.Law says:

    Agree with the commenters. She had every right to defend herself. We’re never going to get rid of this virus if the idiots continue to go out in public without masks and then attack anyone verbally or physically that asks them politely to put one on. These big companies need to have a backbone and start supporting their employees that are attempting to keep the public safe. I may not shop at Ralphs after this. This really makes me mad.

  5. issena says:

    Does she have a GoFundMe ? I hate when people are unfairly punished for someone else’s stupidity!

    1. brensa says:

      Would like to hear his side….

      1. insert name says:

        Hearing his side is kind of a moot point considering he assaulted the chick, and how is anything he says going to dispute witness statements? Wrong issue to that talking point on IMO.

      2. Ben says:

        No need to, a maskhole like that who committed assault?

  6. miki turner says:


  7. ems365 says:

    This is clearly a failure by Ralph’s to provide a safe working environment

  8. Mike Hutton says:

    He should have been dropped like a bad habit, arrested and thrown in jail for assault. Don’t be stupid.

  9. winstonkiva says:

    No more shopping at Ralphs for me.

  10. P.Lazaro says:

    It doesn’t matter, I would have kicked his ass, over and over again. Ralphs has a problem if they are ill equipped to deal w these situations a leave their underpaid employees deal and risk their lives with these TrumpMadPeople.

  11. William says:

    Ralph’s should have given her a medal. I can shop somewhere else.

  12. Ben says:

    How dare they, how disgusting. I hope they get the mother of all backlashes for their despicable treatment of that employee

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