KEY POINTS

  • Two suspects were arrested after starting a fight with Target employees over the wearing of face masks inside essential businesses 
  • The men were escorted out of a Target store in Van Nuys after they entered the premises with no masks on
  • As they near the exit, one of the men suddenly turned around and punched the employee in the face

A fight broke out between two California men and a Target security guard over the wearing of face coverings inside essential businesses.

The suspects were identified as 31-year-old Phillip Hamilton and 29-year-old Paul Hamilton. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the men entered a local Target store in Van Nuys around 10:20 a.m. on May 1 with no masks on.

In the video released by the Department, the two men were being escorted by three employees out of the store. As they approached the exit, one of the suspects suddenly turned around and punched one of the employees in the face. The hit caused both to hit the floor, with the employee breaking his arm in the process.

Target store Customers walk outside a Target store on Aug. 14, 2003, in Springfield, Virginia. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

In retaliation, another employee push the suspect against a shelf. This then led to a brawl between the brothers and the personnel. The video also showed the one of the brothers hitting another employee with his elbow after he was grabbed from behind in a bear hug, said Fox News.

The fight was stopped when several customers intervened and helped the employees. L.A. Fire Department paramedics brought the employee to a local hospital where he was treated for a broken arm.

“An unfortunate altercation occurred following a request from our team members that two guests at our Van Nuys store comply with the city order to wear face coverings while shopping.

“We're grateful for the support of local police and we'll provide any information that can be helpful to their investigation,” the company said in a statement.

The suspects were arrested on the same day for felony battery. Their bail was set at $50,000.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced last month that all residents must use face coverings whenever they go outside their homes for their essential trips.

The order also required non-medical essential businesses to provide their employees with face coverings to protect themselves and to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Please, if you're going into a retail establishment, listen to the rules that they're asking you to follow. Don't confront people. Don't confront people out on the street. Allow law enforcement and health officials to enforce the mask requirement,” Lieutenant Jim Gavin told KTLA.