LANCASTER (CBSLA) — Police asked for the public’s help Friday to identify a man they say punched a barista over what may have been a dispute over the chain’s face mask policy.
The assault happened at a Starbucks on West Avenue I in Lancaster. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, a man punched a barista when employees asked him to put on a mask as he entered the coffee shop.
Lancaster Station Detectives seek public's help in ID'ing alleged battery suspect for assaulting local barista. The man punched an employee after the employee asked him to put a mask on. Do you know him? Help us keep our local businesses safe!https://t.co/pltphjU5Ix#LASD #AV411 pic.twitter.com/TQWHl75uiv
— LASD Lancaster Stn. (@LANLASD) July 24, 2020
Sources later told CBSLA the incident may have involved the theft of a tip jar, but authorities could not immediately confirm that.
Sheriff’s officials said they also wanted to speak to a second man who was with the suspect.
In response to the incident, Starbucks released this statement: “Our focus right now is on our partner and their recovery. We want to thank the LASD Lancaster Station for supporting the safety of our partner and the community, and we will continue to aid their investigation in any way we can.”
Both men involved were described as black men. The suspect was described as 6-foot-2 and about 230 pounds, and appeared to wear a dark jacket, and light-colored pants. The second man was described as 6-foot-6 and 245 pounds and wore a blue T-shirt and dark-colored shorts.
Anyone with information about either man can call Los Angeles County sheriff’s Detective Grajales at (661) 948-8466.