Woman arrested for beating disabled shopper who asked her to put on mask in crowded Staples store

Woman arrested for beating disabled shopper who asked her to put on mask in crowded Staples store
James Crump

A woman has been arrested for allegedly assaulting a 54-year-old woman in a New Jersey Staples store after a dispute over a face mask.

The Hackensack Police Department announced on Tuesday that 25-year-old Terri Thomas had been arrested for the incident that occurred on 29 July.

Ms Thomas allegedly attacked 54-year-old Margot Kagon, who had recently undergone a liver transplant, after they had a dispute over wearing a face mask inside the store, according to the New York Post.

The police said that on 29 July Ms Kagon was using the fax machine in the store when a woman, suspected to be Ms Thomas, approached her with her face mask pulled below her mouth.

Ms Kagon told the woman that she needed to wear a face mask in the store, which is when the suspect became angry and started yelling, according to ABC News.

In the surveillance footage, that was released by the police, the suspect was seen walking over to Ms Kagon, before throwing her to the ground after a struggle and leaving the store.

Although footage of the aftermath of the incident was not released by the authorities, Hackensack Police Department detective captain Darrin DeWitt confirmed that Staples staff immediately helped the woman and called 911.

Ms Kagon, who used her cane in an attempt to protect herself, told ABC that she had to have a steel plate put in her knee after she broke her tibia in the incident, and added that she has been told to not put weight on the affected leg for seven to 10 weeks.

The footage was released to the public over the weekend, as the department asked for help in identifying the suspect, and in a statement about the incident, Mr DeWitt praised his investigators and Staples staff.

He said that “detectives Demetrius Carroll, Ioannis Papanikolaou, and James Han, in particular, all did a fantastic job,” and added: “I also thank the Hackensack Staples store and the Staples corporate office for their cooperation, which was crucial in solving the case.”

Ms Thomas was charged with aggravated assault and has been released on a summons before her first court appearance on 24 August.

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