GALVESTON, Texas – A 65-year-old woman who was charged with resisting arrest and criminal trespass last week after refusing to wear a face mask inside a Galveston bank was taken into custody Wednesday after officers were called to remove her from a Texas City business when she wouldn’t wear a face mask, according to the Texas city Police Department.
Galveston Bank incident
Galveston police said Terry Wright refused to wear a mask inside of a Bank of America branch. Police said the bank manager asked Wright to leave but she refused and began to resist the officer.
Body-worn camera video released last Friday shows the woman arguing and tussling with the police officer who asked her to leave the bank.
“My money is in this bank. I’m going to take it out,” Wright can be heard telling the officer. “The law says I do not have to wear a mask.”
In the video, Wright is seen pulling her hand away from the officer when tries to detain her.
“Do not touch me. Who do you think you are?” Wright asked the officer. “Hold up! Hold up! Some old lady is getting arrested here!”
Once on the ground and in handcuffs, Wright can be heard screaming, “This is police brutality.” Several witnesses in the bank can be heard disagreeing with her.
Police said Wright suffered minor injuries and was transported to UTMB Health at Galveston for treatment.
A warrant was issued for Wright’s arrest.
The incident in Galveston happened the day after the state’s capacity limits and mask mandate were lifted by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. While his order rescinds the state’s mask mandate, it does allow businesses to implement their own coronavirus mitigation measures.
Woman describes bank incident as ‘absolutely ridiculous’
The maskless woman involved in the incident at a bank in Galveston spoke last week..
During a phone interview with KPRC 2, Wright said although she has yet to see video of the incident, she wouldn’t do anything differently.
“My civil rights were violated. There is no law that says I have to wear a mask, none whatsoever,” Wright said. “And how can a bank that has my money in it refuse me access unless I put a face diaper on?”
She also added that she thinks wearing a face mask is “absolutely ridiculous.”
“I don’t know why people aren’t waking up. I really don’t,” Wright said.
Bank of America responds
Bank of America released the following statement about the coronavirus policy at their locations:
“We remain focused on supporting the health and safety needs of our associates, clients and communities. This includes ensuring our practices and policies are aligned with the most up-to-date guidance from medical professionals and public health experts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other medical experts continue to reinforce the importance of using face coverings and practicing physical distancing in all public spaces.
“In accordance with that ongoing guidance, we continue to require everyone who enters our financial centers wear a face covering. If clients inform us that they are uncomfortable wearing a face covering or unable to do so, we recommend they use our ATMs or drive-through window. Clients also can utilize mobile and online banking for the majority of their day-to-day banking needs.”
Second disturbance and arrest
On Wednesday, March 17, Wright was arrested by the Texas City Police Department following a disturbance at a business in Texas City.
At approximately 9:08 a.m., Texas City Police officers were dispatched to an Office Depot located at 9550 Emmett F Lowry Expy on reports a woman inside the store refused to wear a mask or leave the store, according to a release from the Texas City Police Department.
On arrival, officers located the woman in the store and identified her as Wright.
Officers recognized Wright from video of the incident that occurred at the Bank of America location is Galveston last week. They contacted the Galveston Police Department and confirmed Wright had two warrants out for her arrest related to the incident in Galveston.
Wright was taken into custody and transported to the Galveston County Jail by Texas City Police department for booking and processing. She was held criminal trespass with bond set at $1,000 and resist arrest search or transport with bond set at $1,500, according to the Texas City Police Department.
No additional charges were filed related to the Office Depot incident, according to the release.