WILTON MANORS, FLA. (WSVN) - A bartender at a Wilton Manors restaurant posted in a social media that a customer spit in his face after he asked him to put on a mask.
Signs outside of the Pub, along the 2200 block of Wilton Drive, show masks must be worn and social distancing must be adhered to.
However, bartender Shane Cullinan said a customer spit in his face because he told him to wear a mask last Friday.
“We run a business where we’re very strong on protecting our customers and our associates, and we have very strict rules,” Mike Connell, the Pub’s owner, said.
Cullinan explained the ordeal in a post on Facebook. He said he was trying to keep everyone inside of the business safe with COVID-19 continuing to spread.
“I had one of my best friends pass from this with no preexisting conditions, so it hits home more for me,” Cullinan wrote.
The friend he mentioned was Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy Shannon Bennett, who contracted the virus and died in April.
Gary Bouvier walked into the Pub last Friday. In a photo, he could be seen wearing a shirt that reads, “Model Citizen,” but according to Cullinan, he was anything but a model citizen.
“Shane, a bartender, who said, ‘You can’t be walking around without your mask,'” Connell said. “He got very, very arrogant, started swearing, et cetera.”
Bouvier was interviewed at his Wilton Wings restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, where he spoke about the pandemic.
“We’re complying with all the rules and regulations that are in place right now,” he said. “The local restaurants, the bartenders that are out of work for the 30 days, these establishments need to be taken care of.”
Cullinan said Bouvier went behind the bar without a mask looking for a restroom. The bartender added that he told Bouvier to wear a mask to which, according to his post, Bouvier shouted, “You don’t know who I am and [expletive] off.”
Cullinan then told him the mask was to protect others and then walked away, according to the Facebook post.
Bouvier allegedly left and came back wearing a mask.
“[He] pulls his mask down and comes directly and spits in Shane’s face,” Connell said. “Terrible disrespect to him, especially in the environment we live in today, and especially that a local business owner on the drive would stoop that low to do that. Whatever Shane’s decision is to go forward with prosecution, and I will tell you the case is still open.”
The bartender’s Facebook post has been shared hundreds of times.
Bouvier, apparently regretting the incident, wrote on Facebook, “I consumed too much alcohol and engaged in out-of-character behavior for which I profoundly regret. I hope that I may demonstrate that one moment of poor judgment does not define who I am. I deeply apologize to Shane.”
Wilton Manors Police is reviewing surveillance footage from the night the incident allegedly occurred, and they will be submitting all the evidence to the state attorney’s office.
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