YUMA, Ariz. — Two people were arrested Wednesday morning for allegedly refusing to wear required face coverings inside a Yuma Walmart and then coughing on employees when stopped.
Police say Frank Montoya, 38, and Victoria Parra Carranza, 23, were told by workers at the Walmart on 21st Street that they had to wear a mask as required by the company’s policy and the emergency order declared by the city’s board of supervisors.
Montoya and Carranza allegedly became belligerent and coughed on employees in response.
Masks have proven to be effective at limiting the spread of coronavirus, which is primarily spread by coughs and sneezes according to the CDC.
Arizona has seen a surge in cases and deaths since the end of the state’s stay-at-home order, and yet the mask mandate has become a point of contention for some groups.
The state hit a grim milestone this week after over 100,000 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed since the pandemic began with nearly 2,000 people dying from related illnesses.
Workers at the Walmart called police to report disorderly conduct, and police say Montoya and Carranza both refused to cooperate with officers and that Montoya became confrontational.
Police say Montoya fled on foot but was quickly caught, and both reportedly fought officers during their arrests.
Montoya and Carranza were booked into the Yuma County jail for multiple charges.