Criminal charges have been filed against two brothers who allegedly got into a scuffle with security guards -- including one who broke his arm -- after the two refused to wear masks at a Target store in Van Nuys, the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office announced Friday.
Phillip Scott Hamilton II, 31, is charged with one misdemeanor count each of battery with serious bodily injury, battery and refusing to leave a business establishment after being asked to leave.
He could face up to one year and nine months in jail if convicted as charged, according to the City Attorney's Office.
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Paul Joseph Hamilton, 29, is charged with two misdemeanor counts of battery and one misdemeanor count of refusing to leave a business establishment after being asked to leave. He could face a maximum of one year and three months behind bars if convicted of the charges, according to the City Attorney's Office.
The two allegedly refused to wear masks at a Target store on Sepulveda Boulevard in Van Nuys on May 1 and were being escorted out of the business when one of the men turned and punched one of the security guards, according to the City Attorney's Office.
The ensuing fight was caught on surveillance video, and a guard who broke his arm during the brawl was taken to the hospital for treatment.
An Aug. 12 pretrial hearing is set for the two brothers, who have pleaded not guilty.
"Not wearing a mask is selfish, wrong and illegal,'' City Attorney Mike Feuer said in a statement announcing the charges. "We will absolutely not tolerate violence in response to appropriate efforts to assure business patrons wear face coverings. We have one common enemy -- and it's the virus, not each other.''
The City Attorney's Office noted that a mandatory face covering order for Los Angeles residents when they leave their homes was in effect at the time, and that all Target stores will require customers to wear face coverings, starting Aug. 1.