KEY POINTS

  • The Wells Fargo manager said the suspect "responded aggressively" to his request that he wear a mask inside the bank
  • The suspect showed up in the parking lot while the manager was trying to get into his car after his shift
  • The suspect allegedly grabbed the manager by the back, pushed him toward a wall and began "wailing on him"

A Wells Fargo bank manager in California was allegedly called a racist slur and beaten after his shift ended by a customer who refused to wear a mask.

The manager, who wanted to be identified only as “A.” due to concerns over his and his family’s safety, told The Tribune that the suspect entered the Wells Fargo branch on Grand Avenue in Grover Beach on Sept. 3 without a face mask. The man appeared to be in his late 40s and about 5 feet, 11 inches tall with an athletic build and bald head, A. said.

The manager said he "greeted him like I do every other client" and requested that he wear a mask inside the bank. The man allegedly refused and "responded aggressively," A. said.

A. said he offered the client one of the extra masks the bank keeps for its customers, but the man allegedly became more hostile and proceeded to root through the cabinets and drawers in the bank lobby. The bank manager, who is a Hispanic man and an Army veteran, warned the man that he would be forced to call the police if he did not stop.

Then, the suspect allegedly said, “Well, you f----n’ sp--. Come outside.”

“I better not catch you outside,” the man allegedly said before leaving the bank.

At the end of A.'s shift that afternoon, the suspect showed up in the parking lot while the manager was trying to get into his car. The suspect allegedly grabbed the manager by the back, pushed him toward a wall and began “wailing on him,” A. said.

The bank manager began to fight back. A. said he reached up and attempted to choke the man at one point during the fight.

A co-worker of the manager happened to see what was happening and immediately called the authorities.

The suspect then tried to flee. The bank manager chased the man, who managed to scale a nearby fence and disappear as police approached.

The bank manager suffered a concussion and lacerations to the head, hand and face as a result of the incident, A.'s wife said. A. said that he had provided police details of the incident.

The Wells Fargo parking lot incident was filed with the Grover Beach Police as a battery and hate crime. Detectives have yet to identify the suspect.

"If necessary, we may post an image on social media of the suspect if we are not able to positively identify them in the near future," Grover Beach Police Chief John Peters said in an email to The Tribune.

Mask rage has become a rising concern in the country since the start of the pandemic, The Tribune said in another report.

Former Wells Fargo chief John Stumpf will pay another fine in the bank's fake accounts scandal Former Wells Fargo chief John Stumpf will pay another fine in the bank's fake accounts scandal Photo: AFP / Chris DELMAS