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'I don't want to die in the bodega': Workers attacked for enforcing mask rules in NYC

Posted at 8:25 AM, Sep 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-07 10:25:46-04

NEW YORK -- A bodega clerk who was attacked by a customer in New York City is concerned mask laws will get someone killed, he said Sunday.

Javier Franco and Aneuri Castillo were in a Morrisania bodega several weeks ago when they were attacked. Franco was stacking the shelves when he asked a customer to put on a mask. The customer punched him in the face.

“The mask law is going to get someone killed," Franco said. "We are doing our best trying to obey the law so we don’t lose our liquor license, but it seems we could lose our life instead."

Castillo was smacked in a mask confrontation with a customer.

"This was shocking to me," he said. "I tried to do what the governor asked us. I told him it was the law. I’m scared! Maybe he’ll come back and shoot me. It’s so hard coming to work not knowing how the day will go. I have a family and they need me, I don’t want to die in the bodega."

United Bodegas of America spokesman Fernando Mateo said both incidents happened within minutes of one another. He said they're meeting with NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea soon to address their concerns.

“The mayor and the governor have a responsibility to keep us all safe," he said. "We invested in NYC and they must ensure our public safety."

This story was originally published by Aliza Chasan at WPIX.