A man is facing misdemeanor charges for smacking the business card out of the hand of a Texas judge during a dispute over a face mask – which was mandated by the very same magistrate a week earlier, according to reports.
Terry Toller, 47, surrendered to the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office Thursday, one day after video from a Lowe’s in San Antonio showed him smacking away a business card offered to him by Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff as they stood in a check-out line, KSAT reports.
Wolff tried to hand Toller a business card, but he dismissed the gesture and quickly knocked it away, video shows.
Wolff, who was not injured, got involved after a cashier told Toller that wearing a mask inside the store was required, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said.
“From what we can see on the video, it appears Judge Wolff was just trying to be helpful with the situation,” Salazar told the station.
Toller’s attorney, Nico LaHood, said his client surrendered on a felony charge of second-degree assault of a public servant, but that count was downgraded to a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct, KSAT reports.
In a countywide emergency order issued last week, Wolff required businesses to ensure that both employees and customers wear face coverings while inside. Any business violating the order can face fines up to $1,000, according to the station.
LaHood, meanwhile, said he expects the charge against Toller to be dropped and insisted the “video speaks for itself.”
“Judge Wolff approaches Mr. Toller,” LaHood told Fox San Antonio. “Mr. Toller’s not yelling at anybody. He’s having a normal conversation, conducting business with, in his words, a very polite young lady that was helping him at the register.”
Wolff then walked up “for whatever reason” and shoved a card in Toller’s face, LaHood said, citing the brief video footage.
“Mr. Toller is in the position that he didn’t do anything wrong and we agree with him,” LaHood told the San Antonio News-Express. “We do have the truth and we can see now that some of the context originally was lost.”
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