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Mask dispute leads to Toledo man’s arrest, accused of threatening Target employees

Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 7:52 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A dispute over wearing a mask escalated and a local couple is calling for a Target employee to be fired for allegedly denying them service for not wearing masks. The couple was charged, but not for violating the governor’s mask mandate. Matthew and Heather Nicolai will head back to court this month.

In August, the Nicolai’s went to Target to get their daughter some shoes. Target has a mask requirement.

The family claims they have medical issues and can’t wear a mask. According to body cam video, the Target employees never denied the family service. Sheriff deputies were called after Matthew Nicolai, who was open carrying a weapon, allegedly threatened the employees. He was arrested and charged with menacing and other charges. His wife is also charged in the case.

“He did not threaten verbally. He did not step towards these ladies and he did not make any attempt to unholster his weapon,” said Heather Nicolai.

Target issued this statement to 13abc Action News “At Target, the safety and security of our teams is our top priority. Since August 1, Target’s required guests to wear masks whenever they’re shopping in our stores and we communicate our mask requirement through signs in our stores, overhead announcements, and reminders from team members at the front of our stores. When this guest came into our Holland store without a mask in mid-August, our team reminded him about our requirement and the guest became upset. This guest never mentioned a condition to our team, but young children and those with underlying medical conditions are not required to wear a mask. We contacted the Lucas County Sheriff’s Department after the guest threatened violence to our team, not because of the mask.”

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