An anti-masker identified as 65-year-old Terry Lynn Wright has been arrested a second time for refusing to wear a mask at a Texas business, local news outlets reported. A video went viral last week, which shows police arresting Wright at a Texas bank in Galveston after she refused to wear a mask. The state’s mask order was lifted the day before, but businesses can still refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask, and the woman was refusing to leave the bank, police said.
Police initially identified the woman as Terry White, but later updated records to correct her name to Terry Lynn Wright. She was charged in the earlier incident with resisting arrest and criminal trespass after police allege she became uncooperative with the officer, according to CBS Local. She is not facing any additional charges for the latest case. You can watch the video here or later in this post.
Police said has been arrested again, this time at an Office Depot, according to ABC 13. Texas City Police were called to the Office Depot in the 9500 block of Emmett F. Lowry Expressway just after 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 17, 2021. The news outlet reported store employees asked Wright to leave because she was not wearing a mask. She was taken into custody on warrants related to the bank incident in Galveston and transported to the Galveston County Jail.
The earlier arrest video was obtained from body cam footage at the Bank of America in Galveston Thursday, March 11, 2021, one day after a mask mandate was lifted. Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s loosening of the statewide mask mandate did not mean masks were no longer required, but transferred the decision-making power from the government to private businesses. Abbott told the Texas Tribune he was loosening the restrictions so that “businesses and families in Texas have the freedom to determine their own destiny.”
Here’s what you need to know:
Wright Claimed She Was the Victim of ‘Police Brutality’ & Called Others in the Bank ‘Sheep’ When They Would Not Help Her
Wright claimed she was the victim of “police brutality” and called others in the bank “sheep” when they would not help her, body cam footage released by Galveston Police shows.
The video begins with the police officer switching on his body cam as he arrived at the bank. An employee, who is wearing a mask, directs the officer to Wright, who is standing in line and not wearing a mask. The officer told her she needed to wear a mask or leave. She explained she needed to close her account, and explained her understanding of the mask requirements. The officer explained she was incorrect.
“Businesses have the right to refuse service…if you’re not wearing a mask. That’s their choice,” he said.
She answered that it was her money in the bank.
“Awesome. Well you need to go get a mask and then take your money out,” he said.
The interaction remained calm for the first minute and slowly escalated as she continued to argue and refuse to put a mask on.
“Ma’am, we’re going to do this the easy way or the hard way,” he said.
“What are you gonna do, arrest me?” she asked.
“Yes,” he answered, “For intruding on premises.”
She laughed in response. “That’s hilarious.”
She asked the officer if he believed in wearing masks. He said he believes in the laws, to which she responded, “The law says that I do not have to wear a mask.”
He further explained that she was in a private business and asked her to go outside.
The quiet argument changed in tone when he took out his handcuffs.
“He’s gonna shoot me for trying not to breathe,” the woman said to the others in the bank.
She turned from him and walked quickly away.
“Ooh, don’t do that,” he said, grabbing her by the shirt.
“Oh, back up! Back up!” the woman shouted. “Some old lady is getting handcuffed here!”
The video showed a tussle, and he told her to put her hands behind her back, directing her to stop resisting and relax.
“I hope someone is filming this,” she said as she was handcuffed on the floor.
“Oh, I’m filming it,” he answered.
She asked other people in the bank for help.
“Police brutality right here, people,” she said.
“No, no it is not,” a woman in the bank answered.
“Oh, what a bunch of sheep,” Wright responded.
After a bit more argument, she stood and walked with the officer to the patrol car.
“I think you broke my freaking foot,” she said.
The officer called on his radio for EMS.
“Not wearing a mask, people,” she shouted in the parking lot. “This is what they do to you.”
CBS Local reported she was taken to a hospital after her claim she was injured.
Wright Said in an Interview Following the Arrest She Is Glad She Stood Her Ground
Despite the arrest, Wright told ABC 13 she is glad she stood her ground. She said she is “very opposed” to wearing masks.
“I won’t wear that diaper on my face!” she said.
She explained in the interview she traveled to the bank in her RV, so she could not use the drive-thru as she would have preferred. The Central City location was the only one that was open to her, she said. She was taking a trip across the country to cross an item off the bucket list, and wanted to close her account.
She said in the interview the encounter at the bank was the only time she faced issues for not wearing a mask. Wright said an employee asked her to put on a mask when she entered the bank.
Galveston Police issued a statement to ABC 13 clarifying police are not enforcing mask wearing, but responded to a complaint of criminal trespass.
Bank of America did not comment on Wright’s arrest, but released a statement to ABC 13. It said:
We remain focused on supporting the health and safety needs of our associates, clients and communities. This includes ensuring our practices and policies are aligned with the most up-to-date guidance from medical professionals and public health experts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other medical experts continue to reinforce the importance of using face coverings and practicing physical distancing in all public spaces. In accordance with that ongoing guidance, we continue to require everyone who enters our financial centers wear a face covering. If clients inform us that they are uncomfortable wearing a face covering or unable to do so, we recommend they use our ATMs or drive-through window. Clients also can utilize mobile and online banking for the majority of their day-to-day banking needs.