old man dressed in cargo shorts threatens employee with pepper spray (l) man standing in store (c) man walking past cart (r)

@lettercarrier/TikTok

‘Every retail employee should legally get to fight one customer a year’: Customer filmed holding up pepper spray in Costco worker’s face

'Why would they just let him walk away?'

 

Braden Bjella

IRL

Posted on Apr 28, 2022   Updated on May 2, 2022, 12:10 pm CDT

A customer at Costco was filmed holding up pepper spray in two employees’ faces and pushing one of them before walking away.

Posted by user @lettercarrier, the video currently has over 3.5 million views. As the video has gone viral across several platforms, it is unclear whether @lettercarrier is the original poster.

@lettercarrier A little #costco drama today 4/24/22#onlyinmycalvins #PringlesCanHands #publicfreakout ♬ original sound – Mail Escort

It is unclear how the dispute started, as the video begins while the interaction is already underway. While some posters of the video have theorized that the masked customer is threatening the employee for not wearing a mask, there is no direct evidence in the video that would indicate this is the reason the dispute started. Costco does not require masks for members and guests unless they are required by local jurisdictions.

As the video begins, a Costco employee thanks the customer who is filming.

The Costco employee then says something inaudible to the person with the pepper spray. At this point, the customer shoves the employee.

Some posters claim that the customer says “You’re threatening my life” at this moment, though the audio is unclear. 

The employee then threatens to call the police.

Following this, another employee steps in. The customer holds the pepper spray up in the second employee’s face as well, while the employee attempts to deescalate the situation and get the man to leave.

“You can’t be threatening people here with pepper spray,” the employee calmly explains. “Do you understand that? You cannot threaten people in here with pepper spray.”

After a few more moments, the customer leaves.

Viewers expressed outrage in the comments section that the man was able to walk away.

“Call the cops,” one user urged.

“Why would they just let him walk away? He assaulted an employee,” another added.

Others noted that this incident is indicative of what service workers go through on a daily basis.

“We should normalize employees being able to defend themselves no matter what,” a commenter stated.

“Every Retail employee should legally get to fight one customer a year,” another top comment reads.

Costco did not immediately respond to Daily Dot’s request for comment via email. @lettercarrier did not immediately respond to Daily Dot’s request for comment via TikTok comment.


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*First Published: Apr 28, 2022, 8:16 am CDT