A Massachusetts man has been charged after he threw hot coffee at a fellow Dunkin’ Donuts customer who was not wearing a face mask.
The suspect, 23-year-old Boston resident Dion Millsap, attacked Matteo Sellitto, 56, of Brockton, who was standing behind him in line in a Brookline, Massachusetts Dunkin’ Donuts, after he noticed the older man was not complying with the indoor mask mandate.
The incident occurred Thursday morning around 8:30.
“The suspect and the victim got into a verbal exchange regarding the victim not wearing a mask inside of the store,” Brookline police said in a statement.
Brookline requires anyone in an indoor public space to wear a face mask. The Dunkin’ Donuts location displayed a sign asking customers to wear one as well.
The victim put a shirt over his face as a makeshift mask when he was confronted, prosecutors said, but his apparent attempt to deescalate the situation failed and the two went back and forth. The suspect became “belligerent” towards customers and Dunkin’ Donuts employees, police said.
“While exiting the store, the suspect threw his hot coffee in the direction of the victim striking the victim on the back of his lower legs,” police said.
Millsap attempted to flee after the incident and resisted arrest, injuring an officer’s hand while kicking. The officer was not seriously hurt, however.
Millsap is unemployed, homeless, has a five-year-old son, and was planning on starting a new job Thursday, his defense attorney said.
He was arrested and charged with one count of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, one count of disorderly conduct, and one count of resisting arrest.
His bail was set at $250 and he has also been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation and to steer clear of both the Dunkin’ Donuts location and the victim.
The victim said he was not seriously hurt and declined medical treatment. Prosecutors said he asked if he could come inside the Dunkin’ Donuts without a face mask and was given permission.
Thursday’s mask incident is far from the first time a mask mandate has caused a violent confrontation over whether an individual is complying.
Similar incidents have occurred in other stores and on airplanes.
In a recent incident on a flight, a woman was arrested and charged after she allegedly assaulted an elderly fellow passenger aboard a Delta Air Lines flight, hitting him in the face and spitting on him as they argued about masks.
Video of the incident shows the woman repeatedly telling the man to put his mask on. The man points out that the woman’s mask is also down and tells her, “You’re a … Karen. Sit down” as well as calling her a vulgarity.
Just a day before the Dunkin’ Donuts incident, an American Airlines flight to London turned around and returned to Miami about an hour into the flight due to a “disruptive customer refusing to comply with the federal mask requirement,” the airline said.
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