Video shows confrontation between Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, customer over mask at store

Wolff stepped in when a customer refused a cashier's request to wear a mask

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff was involved in a confrontation Wednesday at a hardware store during a dispute between a customer who refused to wear a face mask and an employee, according to county spokeswoman Monica Ramos.

SAN ANTONIO – UPDATE: The customer accused in the confrontation with Judge Wolff turned himself in on Thursday. Read more.

An arrest warrant was issued on Wednesday for a man who was involved in a confrontation with Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff at a hardware store over a face mask dispute.

Wolff was in a checkout line at a Lowe’s store on Interstate 10 and Callaghan when a cashier told a customer that wearing a mask was required.

The rules, penalties and exceptions as Bexar County mask order goes in effect

The customer grew upset, so Wolff intervened. Wolff tried to hand the customer a business card.

“From what we can see on the video, it appears Judge Wolff was just trying to be helpful with the situation,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said.

Salazar provided video of the confrontation, which cuts off as soon as the customer knocks the paper out of Wolff’s hand.

Wolff reported the incident to Salazar, who responded to the store around 1:30 p.m. Wolff had taken down the man’s license plate information before the man left the store.

“You can see that the suspect in the case actually smacked the piece of paper out of Judge Wolff’s hand and a pretty loud confrontation ensued,” Salazar said.

Surveillance video of confrontation involving Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff

Salazar said Wolff then called him and turned his speakerphone on.

“I could hear this, the suspect was just berating the judge,” Salazar said. “He knew exactly who he was. He knew exactly who he was dealing with.”

Salazar said investigators have already identified the customer and are working to get in contact with him. On Wednesday evening, a Bexar County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said an arrest warrant was issued for the man on suspicion of assault of a public servant, a third-degree felony.

He was not arrested as of Wednesday evening, according to the sheriff’s office.

Wolff declined to be interviewed for this story.

Wolff issued a countywide emergency order last week that requires businesses to ensure employees and customers wear face masks in any building. The order took effect Monday, as COVID-19 cases continued to surge in San Antonio.

San Antonio ranks third for major cities with fastest growing COVID-19 cases, report finds

Businesses who are caught violating the order can face a fine up to $1,000.

About the Authors:

Garrett Brnger is a reporter with KSAT 12.