OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A customer at Lee’s Sandwiches off Classen Boulevard near 30th Street in Oklahoma City lost his temper Tuesday and yelled at several employees in the store when he was told to wear a mask.
“You’re all Nazis,” The man said in the video posted on Lee’s Sandwiches’ Facebook page. “Call them! I don’t care, try telling them you’re an idiot! You’re a traitor to the country. All of you!”
It was an explosion of anger when the customer cracked.
“What are you doing? Are you harassing me? Huh?” he said to an employee.
“I’m asking you to leave,” the employee said.
“Relax, relax,” two employees said to the man when he approached the female employee.
“She’s approaching me,” he said.
“Take it easy,” they said back.
“I think it’s just such unacceptable behavior,” said James Cooper, the Oklahoma City council member who oversees Ward 2, where the incident happened.
Cooper said some may find the masks annoying, but the city is still mandating them in public in what appears to be the final stages of this pandemic.
“We are all going through it,” he said. “And yet I have not yelled at another human being right now because of this particular mask ordinance.”
Lee’s Sandwiches isn’t alone in this. Ponyboy, a cocktail bar off 23rd Street next to the Tower Theatre, is dealing with some incidents of their own, including one with three guests just one week ago.
“They took it as an affront to them that we were asking the bare minimum of mask standard,” said the food and beverage director of Ponyboy, Tower Theatre and Beer City Alex Larrea.
Eventually, they had to ask the three guests to leave the bar.
“Yeah, you guys would be better off somewhere else,” the employee working the door told the guests as he escorted them out.
“Absolutely. Goodbye. Have a nice night,” one of them said back as the patrons inside started to clap as they left.
“I don’t blame them for clapping,” Larrea said.
According to Larrea, this doesn’t happen all that often. However, when it does, he said, “We’ve heard some unkind words, we’ve had some threats of one-star yelp reviews.”
“That’s always the really odd challenge that we get from people,” Larrea said. “They’re like, ‘Well, you’re going to lose our money if you don’t do things our way,’ and I just really want people to understand that’s absolutely not the goal.”
As the state continues to inch toward possible normalcy in the near future, local leaders and restaurateurs alike urge Oklahomans to stay strong.
“Right around the corner everybody, hang tough,” Cooper said.
“There’s no point in giving up this close to the eighth or ninth inning,” Larrea said.
Lee’s Sandwiches sent the following statement via Candor PR:
“Throughout the pandemic, our focus has been on serving our loyal customers while protecting our staff. As we all move toward the end of the public health crisis, we offer our thanks to the thousands of people who have supported our business, especially during the difficulties of the past year.”
Oklahoma is currently in Phase 3 of its vaccination plan. Oklahoma City’s mask mandate is still in effect until at least April 30.