A woman was arrested and escorted out of Walmart in Eagle Point, Oregon on Wednesday after she refused to wear a face mask when approached by an employee.
Michelle Easley and her husband went to Walmart around 4 PM on Wednesday afternoon. Easley initially wore a face mask, but took it off after experiencing some breathing difficulties.
According to Easley, she recently had surgery and has a doctor’s note excusing her from wearing a face covering.
After being bypassed by several employees, Easley said that one employee confronted her.
“We had reached the cereal aisle,” she explained, “and an employee came yelling out of nowhere, ‘Ma’am you must put your mask on.’ I said, ‘Unfortunately, medical wise, I can’t.'”
According to Easley, she told the employee that she had a doctor’s note, and he insisted that she wear one or leave.
“I said I have documentation, she said you’re being uncompliant you must leave. I said please show me the policy where someone with a disability, and she wouldn’t let me she said you’re being trespassed.”
Easley refused to leave and refused to wear a face mask, so Walmart called the police. When an officer responded, Easley was handcuffed and escorted out of the store. She has been charged with criminal trespass in the second degree.
Easley’s husband caught the arrest on video:
The Eagle Point Police Chief Darin May explained that when his officer arrived on the scene, he asked her several times “just leave or he would have to arrest her because there was a trespass issue, and she refused to do so.”
Medical conditions are not a valid exception to face mask policies according to the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Employers are required to enforce mask mandates in order to protect employees “from the hazard of the coronavirus.”
OSHA recommends that anyone unable to wear a face mask use a face shield or take advantage of curbside pickup options instead.
The Easley family is hiring an attorney and plans to sue.