An employee at a Boston pizza restaurant was attacked Sunday night by a customer who was upset over the store's mask policy, police said.
Boston police officers responded to the Regina Pizzeria located at 11 Thacher Street in the city's North End shortly after the assault happened around 9 p.m.
The employee told police that a customer had tried to enter the restaurant without a mask. When he was informed that a mask was required for entry, the suspect allegedly said he was "from the neighborhood" and pushed his way in. The man proceeded to push the employee against a register and punch the worker in the face, police reported.
Boston police say the suspect fled down N Margin Street. He is believed to be 25 to 28 years old. No other information was released.
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According to Boston police, the employee appeared to have a minor injury following the incident -- a swollen left cheek -- and refused medical attention. The victim's name was redacted in the police report.
Boston COVID Measures
Masks are required in Boston for everyone over the age of 2 inside indoor spaces that are open to the public, including businesses, restaurants, and gyms, per the City of Boston's existing indoor mask mandate.
The indoor mask mandate was reinstated on Aug. 27, 2021, and remains in effect until further notice amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
A sign posted outside the pizza restaurant states that masks are required, per the City, and thanks patrons for their cooperation.
There is also a posted notice outside Regina Pizzeria that proof of vaccination is now required, a policy that went into effect in Boston last weekend.
The City's latest COVID measure requires people be vaccinated in indoor spaces like restaurants, gyms and indoor recreational facilities including theaters and sports venues.
Implementation of the vaccine mandate for indoor venues began Saturday and will phase in second vaccine doses and youth vaccination requirements. Patrons and employees are required to show proof of vaccination upon entering the premises.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has hailed the city's B Together indoor vaccine mandate as an important step in slowing the spread of COVID-19.
The Boston Police Department is investigating Sunday's assault.