LOS ANGELES – City Attorney Mike Feuer announced today that his office has filed criminal charges against two brothers who allegedly fought with store security guards, one of whom suffered a broken arm, after the brothers allegedly refused to wear masks at a Target in Van Nuys. Both brothers are charged with battery and trespass.
"Not wearing a mask is selfish, wrong and illegal," said Feuer. "We will absolutely not tolerate violence in response to appropriate efforts to assure business patrons wear face coverings. We have one common enemy—and it’s the virus, not each other."
According to the complaint, on May 1, brothers Phillip Hamilton II, 31, and Paul Hamilton, 29, allegedly refused to wear masks at the Target on Sepulveda Boulevard in Van Nuys, despite the City’s face covering order taking effect on April 10. As they were being escorted out, one of the brothers allegedly turned and punched one of the four security guards, which allegedly instigated a knock-down drag-out fight, which was caught on surveillance video. One of the guards broke his arm in the brawl and was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Defendant Phillip Hamilton was charged with multiple counts of battery including an allegation of a battery causing serious bodily injury and a count of trespass. If convicted he could face up to 1 year and 9 months of jail. Co-Defendant Paul Hamilton was also charged with multiple counts of battery and a count of trespass. If convicted he could face up to 1 year and 3 months in jail. Their case is set for pretrial on August 12th in the Van Nuys Superior Courthouse, Department 105.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC calls on Americans to wear masks), cloth face coverings are a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19 and could reduce the spread of the virus, particularly when used universally in communities. There is increasing evidence that cloth face coverings help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the disease to others, and may protect mask-wearers as well.
Starting August 1, all Target stores will require customers to wear face coverings. Target joins a rapidly expanding list of retailers that are also mandating masks for customers. The City of Los Angeles already requires face coverings for Angelenos when they leave their homes. Masks are also mandated statewide.
Read the criminal complaint and charges against the brothers involved in these allegations. (PDF)