Tensions rising in Boston over mask mandates as pizza manager gets punched by maskless customer

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In the latest disturbing escalation of tension over COVID-19 mandates, a Regina Pizzeria employee who asked a customer to wear a mask got punched in the face as a response, police reports show.

The maskless suspect entered the legendary pizza restaurant in the North End about 9 p.m. Sunday night and was stopped at the entrance, according to Boston Police.

The suspect pushed his way in, then pushed the victim, a male store general manager, against the register before getting off a punch to the employee’s left side of the face, police reported.

The suspect, a white male believed to be in his mid-20s, fled down the street and has not yet been apprehended, but Boston Police are investigating.

The victim told police that the suspect “stated that he was from the neighborhood” and refused to put on a mask before pushing his way in.

A spokesman for Regina Pizzeria confirmed the assault took place because of the city’s mask mandate but would not give any further details.

“It’s a police (investigation) and we can’t make any comment,” the spokesman said.

The victim experienced “swelling to (his) left cheek” but refused medical treatment at the scene.

This is the second COVID mandate related incident in a Regina Pizzeria in the last few days.

Boston Police Sgt. Shana Cottone, leader of an anti-vaccine mandate group, had an altercation with two police officers at Regina Pizzeria on Boylston Street on Saturday because she refused to wear a mask.

“I’m enjoying a product that I purchased here so you’re going to leave me alone or I’m going to sue you each individually,” Cottone told the two officers in an exchange she captured on video. “History has shown, goose steppers like you trample on the rights of the innocent.”

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