A video capturing a violent brawl outside at an Ace Hardware store in Seattle went viral after two employees attempted to enforce a mask policy with one using a baseball bat, a shopper involved in the fight said.
Bobby Dixon’s fully vaccinated but unmasked friend entered the Lake City Plaza store on Sunday, where an employee directed his friend to put a mask on or leave, he told Jason Rantz of KTTH Radio Seattle. After they departed the store, Dixon went back to ask for the employee’s name to report his behavior to a manager and claimed he found him waiting with a bat.
“You’re going to hit me with that bat? You taunt me with that bat?” Dixon is heard in the video asking the bat-wielding man he claims is a store employee, though the man was not wearing a company uniform. A second employee, seen wearing an Ace Hardware shirt with his mask pulled down below his mouth, yells expletives at Dixon.
Warning: video contains strong language.
The video, shared by Rantz on Twitter and captured on Dixon’s friend’s cell phone, shows Dixon being aggressively shoved out of the store’s doors with the bat. It has been viewed over 600,000 times on Twitter since it was posted Tuesday.
After dropping the bat, the unnamed man engages in a fistfight with Dixon, with numerous punches thrown between the two.
Someone outside of the video frame is eventually heard screaming “stop!” as Dixon’s friend says “you better get the f**k off him.”
“I wasn’t threatening, I never made any threats, and neither did my friend,” Dixon told Rantz during an interview on the Jason Rantz Show. “I never touched the dude until he came at me, and I was just trying to defend myself.”
Dixon claimed that when he and his friend first tried to leave the store, “the dude at the counter started running his mouth, being pretty vulgar, and so my buddy started cussing.”
He said a cussing match then broke out and he decided to cease shopping there.
“At that point they started cussing at me,” he said. “They were just attacking us for no reason pretty much, because not having a mask. He was complying with them when they said if you’re not wearing a mask you gotta get out.”
Dixon said he originally wore a mask when he entered the store but took it off after exiting.
He told Rantz he filed a police report following the incident.
Seattle police are trying to figure out what happened as the man Dixon got into an altercation with reported Dixon and his friend attacked him, according to KOMO News.
Newsweek called the Seattle Ace Hardware for comment but no one answered and the voice mailbox was full.
Newsweek reached out to the Ace Hardware company but did not receive a response before publication.