He refused to wear a mask at a Florida Best Buy. Then he started coughing, police say

Madeleine Marr
·2 min read

A man upset with a Florida Best Buy store’s coronavirus mask policy ended up behind bars Saturday.

According to a police report from the Indian County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to the big box computer store in Vero Beach about a disturbance.

An employee said the suspect involved in the “incident” had just left in a red Cadillac sedan. The officers located the car and initiated a traffic stop. The driver, Alton Ashby, acknowledged he had just been at the Best Buy but that “nothing” untoward occurred.

The deputy then returned to the store and made contact with several witnesses, including both a manager and worker at the Geek Squad repair division.

They told the deputy that Ashby had come in with no mask and repeatedly refused to put one on, despite being offered one.

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Eventually, an employee was able to get the Texas native to put on a mask, which he soon took off. Ashby was then told again he would not be served without a face covering.

After being refused computer help yet again, Ashby got so agitated that a witness told the deputy that he saw the customer “cough, sneeze and spit” all over the Geek Squad counter as well as another adjoining counter.

Employees ordered the 51-year-old Palm Bay resident to leave. As Ashby headed to the front, he got a Coca-Cola and sprayed the contents “everywhere” while walking out, according to the complaint.

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The store then had to have customers leave to do a deep cleaning.

The deputy returned to the traffic stop where he was being detained, and arrested Ashby on a disorderly conduct charge.

The suspect acknowledged the chaos that he had caused, stating he was “upset and going through a lot this year and got carried away.”