‘Nobody was prepared for this’: Psychologist says on 99-Cents Only Store mask brawl

Video of the argument surfaced on social media this week and has gone viral

"Viral video shows man attack shoppers at local 99cent store after being asked to wear a mask"

Video of an argument between an irritated shopper and other customers inside a North Side 99-cent store has gone viral online.

The heated confrontation happened on Wednesday at the 99-Cents Only Store on Old Thousand Oaks near Jones Maltsberger Road. According to San Antonio police, the man at the center of the video became irritated after a manager told him he needed to wear a mask inside the store.

Investigators said when the man noticed he was being recorded, he became violent and hit the victim’s cellphone out of his hand before grabbing his neck and pushing him up against a glass freezer door.

Video: Argument over face mask erupts into confrontation at 99 cent store in San Antonio

Dr. Eboney Jackson is a local psychologist at Mission Psychology, and said the COVID-19 pandemic has had unprecedented effects on the human psyche.

“Nobody was prepared for this. We’re not equipped to deal with this psychologically and people who are doing it, who are doing well prior to this, are struggling,” Dr. Jackson said.

Though Dr. Jackson has not met or evaluated the man in the video, she said erratic behavior like his could be fueled by stress mismanagement.

“Once people are under stress, we go on to this fight flight or freeze type of reaction,” Dr. Jackson said.

She said in some cases, stress could be coupled with a sense of entitlement, and adds not everyone has the ability to think about how their actions affect other people.

“When I say entitlement is like... ‘Don’t tread on me. These are my rights. I have a right to do whatever I want. This is America.’ But that’s not true. You can’t go to the store without shoes, can’t go without a shirt on,” Dr. Jackson said.

Now matter how you feel about an issue, Dr Jackson said there is never an excuse to lash out, or harm others. To avoid letting stress get the best of you, she said you can exercise, which helps release endorphins that calm you down, stay informed but don’t overload your mind with negative information about the pandemic, and focus on doing something that makes you happy.

As far as the man in the video, he has not been arrested but police said it’s possible he could face assault charges.

Anyone hoping to seek mental health care regarding stress management or other issues can contact Dr. Jackson or other doctors at Mission Psychology at 210-699-8700.

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