2 sisters stabbed a security guard at a Chicago shoe store 27 times after they were asked to put on masks, prosecutors said

Haven Orecchio-Egresitz
·3 min read
snipes store, Hamburg
A Snipes store in Hamburg, Germany. Daniel Reinhardt/dpa (Photo by Daniel Reinhardt/picture alliance via Getty Images
  • Two sisters were asked to wear a face mask while shopping at a Snipes show store in Chicago and responded by stabbing a security guard 27 times, prosecutors said Tuesday in a bail hearing streamed on YouTube and reported by the Chicago Sun-Times.

  • The women were charged with attempted murder, which a defense attorney argued in the hearing was too hefty for an act of self-defense, the Chicago Tribune reported.

  • The charges come after retail workers have faced months of tense confrontations and violent attacks over face masks, which many states have mandated in public places and top health experts have recommended to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

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When 18-year-old Jayla Hill and her older sister Jessica, 21, entered a Snipes shoe store in Chicago on Sunday, a security guard asked them to wear masks and use hand sanitizer, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

When he did, the younger sister pulled out her cellphone to record him and the employee reached out to grab her phone, prosecutors said in a court hearing streamed on YouTube and reported by the Sun-Times.

Jessica Hill struck him in the face with a trash can before both of them started to punch him, prosecutors said in court.

Eventually, Jessica Hill pulled out a comb with a hidden knife, and stabbed the guard 27 times in the head and torso while her younger sister held him down, the Sun-Times reported prosecutors said.

The women swore at and taunted the security guard, who was able to get away from the attack and keep them in the store until police arrived, according to the Sun-Times.

Illinois, which as of October 27 counted more than 380,000 cases of the novel coronavirus and 9,568 deaths, currently mandates face masks in public places.

For the past several months, top US health experts have touted face masks as a critical method of prevention in spreading the coronavirus.

The security guard was taken to the hospital, but didn't require surgery, the Chicago Tribune reported.

"It's the complete randomness of this. It's terrifying," Judge Mary Marubio said in the Circuit Court of Cook County Tuesday, according to the Sun-Times. The women were held without bail on attempted murder charges.

Neither woman had a criminal history, according to the Tribune, and are expected back in court on November 4.

At the Tuesday bond hearing, a defense attorney for the women argued that they had been overcharged for acting in self-defense and that they had bipolar disorder, according to the Tribune.

The attack comes after scores of retail workers and bystanders have been involved in sometimes violent confrontations with customers who refuse to wear masks since many states adopted face-covering requirements to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.

A Starbucks customer in San Diego, California, was filmed in a now-viral video berating a barista who asked her to wear her mask while in the store. In September, an 80-year-old died four days after he was shoved to the ground during an argument over face masks at a bar near Buffalo, New York. In Washington state, a 35-year-old was arrested in August after police said he broke a 72-year-old's jaw in a dispute over wearing a mask in a hotel.

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