65-Year-Old Woman Arrested for Balking at Texas Bank’s Mask Policy, Refusing to Leave

March 14, 2021 Updated: March 15, 2021

A woman was arrested in Texas last week after she allegedly refused to follow a bank’s policy to wear a mask and wouldn’t leave the facility in Galveston—a day after the state had lifted its mask mandate.

Police on March 11 obtained an arrest warrant for 65-year-old Terry Wright of Grants Pass, Oregon, after the incident, according to the police department. Officers said she went into the bank at around 12:30 p.m. and allegedly refused to wear a mask, leading the bank manager to call the police.

Officers told Wright she “needed to leave the bank if she did not want to wear a face mask as requested by bank management,” according to the agency. Police said Wright didn’t leave and began to resist officers who attempted to take her into custody.

Body camera footage of the incident was released by the department on March 12.

“Ma’am, I’ll say, if that says leave, you have to leave,” the officer could be heard telling her off-camera as he approached her.

“My money’s in this bank and I’m going to take it out,” Wright is then heard telling the officer.

“Well, then you have to abide by the rules and you have to have a mask on,” the officer—who was not named—responded, adding that “businesses have the right to refuse service even if you’re not wearing a mask.”

“That’s why I’m taking my money out,” she adds.

“Awesome,” the officer responds. “Well, you need to go and get a mask and then take your money out.”

After more back-and-forth between the two, the officer tells Wright, “Ma’am, listen, we’re gonna do this the easy way or the hard way.”

“What are you gonna do, arrest me?” she asks.

“Yes, for intruding on premises,” the officer responds.

“The law says that I do not have to wear a mask,” she tells the officer, ostensibly referring to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s order earlier this month that ended mask-wearing in public.

“You do not in public,” the officer tells her, “but you’re not in public. … This is not a public place, this is a private business.”

Wright says the officer is taking away her rights. When the officer attempts to take out his handcuffs, Wright then attempts to evade him.

The video then shows the officer struggling with the woman before she’s handcuffed, while on the ground.

“Wow, not wearing a mask people … This is what they do to [you]!” she’s later heard saying while the officer takes her out to a police vehicle.

Local reports stated that Wright was taken to the hospital for a foot injury she sustained while being arrested.

Wright, who said she’s opposed to wearing a mask, told KTRK that she is traveling around the United States completing items from her “bucket list.” The woman said she wanted to go in the bank’s drive-through, but her recreational vehicle would not fit.

Galveston Police Chief Vernon Hale told reporters last week he would rather his officers not be called about mask issues, saying that people who refuse to wear masks could be charged with trespassing if they are asked to cover their faces inside businesses but refuse.

The Galveston Police Department did not respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.