Police escort Calif. family who refused to wear face masks out of Walmart

TURLOCK, Calif. (KTXL/CNN) - Police in California escorted a father and his two children out of Walmart over trespassing concerns after the man refused to adhere to the store’s mask guidelines.

Shopper Bobbie Carne recorded cell phone video of a man and his two children being escorted out of Walmart by police officers during her Saturday afternoon trip to the store in Turlock, California.

"I happened to hear some yelling going on. As I followed a little bit and turned on my video, I realized it was a father and two kids. He was yelling and upset," Carne said. "Come to find out, it was because his kids didn't have a mask on."

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently announced Californians are now required to wear masks indoors and outside when social distancing is not an option.

Police Chief Nino Amirfar said in a video posted online Sunday that the family refused to wear face masks when asked. Walmart then asked them to leave, but the family refused, and police were called over trespassing concerns.

He reassured the public his department will not be issuing citations to those not wearing masks.

“Nor are we going to respond to businesses simply because someone is not wearing a mask. However, if that business refuses to serve you and asks you to leave, you should leave,” Amirfar said.

Carne says the incident could have been handled differently by store management, and she is using the video to inform others.

"Wear a mask, and if you don't, then you can't come in," she said.

A Walmart spokesperson issued a statement in response to the incident, saying that “maintaining customer and associate safety remains our top priority.”

“We encourage customers to be especially mindful of one another during this unprecedented time and adhere to recommendations and guidance that we all use face coverings in public places,” the statement read.

Amirfar says he hopes everyone can work together to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Copyright 2020 KTXL, Bobbie Carne via CNN. All rights reserved.