Woman arrested at bank in Galveston for refusing to wear a mask

'I won't wear that diaper on my face!' said the woman

A woman in Galveston, Texas was arrested at a bank on Thursday for refusing to wear a mask — one day after Gov. Greg Abbott lifted the statewide mandate which was imposed eight months ago to prevent the spread of the coronavirus

“Removing statewide mandates does not end personal responsibility,” said Abbott earlier this month. “It’s just that now state mandates are no longer needed,” he said.

65-year-old Terry Wright entered a Bank of America and refused to wear a face covering. Staffers reportedly asked Wright to respect the rules of business or vacate the premises. When she refused, police were called and their confrontation with the woman was captured on police bodycam.

Read More: Texas man drove loaner car to bank robbery before trying to buy a BMW with stolen cash

“What are you going to do, arrest me?” she said to a police officer, according to The Washington Post.

“The law says that I do not have to wear a mask,” Wright insisted. She explained that she was there to make a withdrawal. An officer said she had to wear a mask to do so, just as bank management requested, or she would have to leave the bank.

In video of the incident, an officer tells the woman, “Ma’am, listen, we can do this the easy way or the hard way.” Wright’s refusal to comply resulted in her being wrestled to the ground, handcuff and arrested. 

“Police brutality right here, people,” she said at the customers waiting in line, many of whom vocalized their disapproval of her no-mask stance.

Wright’s defiance reportedly resulted in her being charged with criminal trespass and resisting arrest. Police issued a statement noting that they responded to the bank’s call about criminal trespass and that the department is not enforcing mask-wearing. 

In an interview Friday with Eyewitness News, Wright said she had stopped in Galveston as part of an RV road trip and was at the bank to close her account. 

She said she is “very opposed” to masks and doesn’t believe the coronavirus pandemic is a real threat. 

“I won’t wear that diaper on my face!” she told ABC13.

Terry Wright / screenshot

Wright said she was “attacked” by police, who confirmed she “sustained minor injuries” and was taken to the University of Texas Medical Branch Health in Galveston to be treated. However, Wright claims she suffered multiple fractures. She also noted that people “can’t cancel me, I’m retired.” She told The Washington Post that she plans to call police on Monday.

“I feel like I took one for the team, because people need to wake up,” she said. 

In response to the incident, the bank issued a statement on its mask policy.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other medical experts continue to reinforce the importance of using face coverings and practicing physical distancing in all public spaces,” said spokeswoman Carla Molina. Customers who do not want to wear a mask are advised to use ATMs or drive-through windows. 

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