PLEASANT PRAIRIE, WI (CBSLA/CNN) — A California man was in a Wisconsin courtroom on Monday after he allegedly attempted to fight local Costco employees and run away from the scene when they told him that he needed to wear a mask inside the store.
Cameron A. Gunther, 33, of Long Beach, pleaded not guilty to a charge of intimidating a witness and a charge of disorderly conduct in the altercation that took place Saturday.READ MORE: DEA Warns Of Aggressive Scammers Texting Fake FBI Badges To Extort Money, Steal Personal Information
According to a Pleasant Prairie Police Department report, Gunther went to Costco, where he had ordered a pizza, and while there a store employee noticed he was not wearing a mask. When the employee told Gunther to put one on, he reportedly placed the mask around his face but did not cover his nose, according to the report.
The employee again asked him to put the mask on and to cover his nose, at which point Gunther become irate and threw his food, according to police.
As the man began to leave, he then turned around to confront the employee again and yelled obscenities, according to the report.
Gunther then allegedly attempted to hit a second employee five times. During the altercation, a manager approached Gunther and tried to show him out of the store, as well.
While the manager attempted to call the police, Gunther approached her and swung at the woman twice before taking her phone and turning to leave, according to the report.READ MORE: San Diego Woman Sues GoFundMe Campaign Creator Over Starbucks Barista Fundraiser
The two employees who had tried to escort Gunther out of the store earlier were then joined by a third employee. The three tackled the man and during the scuffle recovered the phone along with a Holiday Inn & Suites pen that fell out of the man’s pocket.
The man fled the scene toward the hotel at 7887 94th Ave., where officers later tracked him. Police said Gunther had been staying there with a group from out of state, employed by Associated Wholesale Grocers, which has a distribution center in Kenosha.
According to the report, when officers went to his hotel room to question and eventually arrest him, Gunther told them he had worn a mask while purchasing the pizza but denied trying to take the woman’s phone. He said that store staff had thrown him to the ground for no reason.
Wisconsin is currently under a mandatory order that requires anyone over the age of 5 to wear a face-covering while indoors or in an enclosed space with anyone outside their household or living unit. The latest mask order, intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19, expires Jan. 19.
Police took Gunther into custody that day, but he was later out on a $1,500 signature bond following the initial court appearance, according to online court documents.MORE NEWS: Driver Killed In Fiery Wreck On 60 Freeway In Hacienda Heights Despite 'Heroic' Efforts Of Good Samaritan
A jury trial is scheduled for March 8.