A man was captured on video going on a homophobic and anti-mask rant at a Marshall’s location in Campbell, CA, and the incident soon went viral. It’s not the first incident like this to go viral, and like many others, it stemmed from a request to wear a mask. According to witnesses, employees had asked the man to wear a mask or leave the store. The rant that followed was captured on video, which is available in this article.
The man was identified on social media and ABC7 News later confirmed his identity, a Bay Area man named Tim Gaskin. Gaskin was interviewed by the outlet in December 2006 and one of its employees recognized him and confirmed his identity. Gaskin has not responded publicly to the incident. Here is the video showing the verbal altercation:
The Video Begins With Gaskin Telling Employees & Witnesses They Don’t Know the Law About Wearing Masks
In the video, Gaskin says: “What’s your dumb f*****g f****t problem? You don’t know the law? This is how stupid you are.” Gaskin tells the employees that they can’t enforce mask-wearing because it’s a “health code violation” to deny him service based on a disability and that it will cost the store $75,000. He also challenges the employee to call the police.
It’s worth noting that the New York Times debunked mask exemption cards that claimed people could be protected under the Americans with Disability Act.
Gaskin continues his offensive rant, also telling the person recording the video: “Dumb Mexican guy here doesn’t know because he doesn’t speak English.” In a subsequent video posted to the thread, Gaskin can be seen opening his pants and possibly exposing himself to the camera in response to a request for his name.
TJX, which owns Marshall’s, has required customers to wear face coverings in their stores since July 30. Moreover, the state of California has had a mask mandate since June 18, requiring people to wear a face-covering “Inside of, or in line to enter, any indoor public space,” among other guidelines.
The Police Are Investigating the Incident, Including the Exposure & Offensive Language
Captain Ian White of the Campbell Police Department told ABC7 News the department is investigating and they are concerned above all about Gaskin unzipping his pants in the store. “Our primary concern, obviously with this call, which I think is of great concern is the exposure aspect of this and if a crime occurred,” White told the outlet.
“And that’s really not to minimize the mask-wearing and the times that we’re in now, and how dangerous that can be as well. But you know, really looking at the crime aspect of exposing oneself in the middle of a populated store, and trying to look into that at this point.”
White also said the case will make it to the district attorney and “If the case is filed, then there will most likely be an arrest, based on a warrant issued from the court.” However, he added that after discussing with the investigating officers, they are not looking into the language as a hate crime: “At this time it does not appear to be a motivating factor. However, we are looking into all aspects of this. Just to be clear, there is no clear-cut exposure in the video. Otherwise, there probably would have been different investigative steps taken, and maybe an on-view arrest at that point in time, but that evidence isn’t clear.”
The Outlet Identified the Anti-Masker as Tim Gaskin, a 52-Year-Old San Francisco Media Figure
Gaskin was a television talk show host and magazine editor, according to the outlet, who became known in the San Francisco area in the mid-2000s. According to CBS San Francisco, Gaskin used to be a well-known figure in the LGBTQ community in the Bay Area.
He began hosting a weekly talk show, OUT Spoken, starting in 2004 that was focused on gay issues, the outlet reported, as well as a real estate focused television and radio show called “Open House.” He also launched the magazine “Benefit: The Lifestyle of Giving” which focused on the city’s philanthropy efforts. He told the San Francisco Examiner that his goal with the magazine was to “inspire people.”
Gaskin was also a painter who was involved in a few high-profile projects, including the Hearts in San Francisco project and the Hotel des Arts. He was in the news in 2006 for helping to set up a charity program in which a lawsuit-hit landlord provided two apartments to homeless families for $1 rent a year. The outlet referred to Gaskin as a former board member of the AIDS Emergency Fund.