An employee of the Adventure Hotel in Nelson suffered a serious heart attack on Nov. 20 after a customer spit in her face when she confronted him about his refusal to wear a mask.
The incident occurred at Empire Coffee, which is owned by the hotel.
“He was politely asked by the staff to put a mask on,” said hotel general manager Rob Little. “He was very agitated and started shouting profanities about how they were sheep and shouldn’t be following the rules.”
The manager of the coffee shop called Little’s office. An accountant responded and went to help the coffee shop staff.
When she told the man he would not be served, he spit in her face and left. In the meantime, the police had been called.
About 20 minutes after the incident, after discussions with the police, the accountant came into Little’s office and collapsed.
“She was having a massive heart attack,” Little said.
She is in the hospital in Kelowna and in stable condition, he said, but “still definitely not out of the woods.”
The man, who Sgt. Brian Weber of the Nelson Police Department in an email was known to police, was arrested and is expected to be charged with assault.
“The Nelson Police Department will conduct further investigation to determine if there is a nexus between the health crisis and the alleged assault,” Weber wrote.
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to contact the Nelson Police Department at 250-354-3919.