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Man Stabbed by Security Guard During Altercation Over Face Mask in Santa Monica

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By Jorge Casuso

November 9, 2021 -- A security guard at a Santa Monica Vons store stabbed a customer multiple times Monday night during an altercation over the customer's refusal to wear a face mask, police said.

The incident at the Vons on Broadway and Lincoln -- which was quickly picked up by news sites nationwide -- was reported by the guard, who called police at around 10:35 p.m.

The guard told the dispatch operator "that he got into a fight with a customer and stabbed him in self-defense," said Lt. Rudy Flores, the Police Department spokesman.

Officers who arrived at the scene found the customer in front of the market "with multiple stab wounds and immediately began providing first aid," Flores said.

The Santa Monica Fire Department transported him to a local hospital where he was in stable condition Tuesday.

Witnesses, as well as the security guard, told police that the customer -- who appeared "disheveled" and was not wearing a mandated face mask -- entered the store and "started to cause a scene."

"When staff approached him, he became belligerent and assaulted a staff member," Flores said the witnesses told police. "The security guard intervened and attempted to escort the customer out of the location.

"A struggle and then fight ensued between the two. At one point during the fight, the security officer pulled out a small pocket-knife and stabbed the customer multiple times.

"At the conclusion of the fight, the customer exited the main entrance where he was located by officers," Flores said.

After being taken to the hospital, the customer "refused to identify himself or provide any statements of the incidents," he said.

No arrests have been made, and the investigation is ongoing.

The news quickly spread on the internet, with reports posted by news sites in Charlotte, Denver, Ft. Worth, Miami and London, among other cities.

The incident comes less than one month after an attack by a homeless woman made national and international news when it was revealed that one of her three victims was a reality TV contestant ("Homeless Attack in Santa Monica Makes International Headlines," October 19, 2021).

Anyone with additional information about the incident should call SMPD’s Criminal Investigations Division at 310-458-8451 or the Watch Commander (24 hours) at 310-458-8427.

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