As health officials in California order most non-essential businesses to shut down to help get a handle on the spread of COVID-19, enforcing the restrictions imposed by Gov. Gavin Newsom and county officials has become tricky for cities across the state. Many businesses across the state have threatened to ignore the state's shutdown orders and have even gotten physical with code enforcement officers.
One example is a salon owner in Fresno, who allegedly hit a code enforcement officer with her car last week in a Target parking log because she had been served with two pandemic shutdown notes, according to an email obtained by The Fresno Bee.
The email, which was written by a police officer who responded to the incident to a supervisor, states that as two Fresno code enforcement officers were responding to complaints about businesses that had been violating the state's health restrictions, last week, they were stopped just before 11 a.m. in a Target parking lot. The officers, who were driving vehicles that identified them as code enforcement, found themselves being accosted by a woman who began yelling profanities at them.
“F--- you. F--- Mayor Brand. F--- Newsom. F--- you all. Find something better to do. I hope you all die. Somebody should put a bullet in your brain,” the woman shouted.
The code enforcement officer says that after he told the woman to, "Keep it classy," the woman got into her car, drove around the parking lot, and parked behind the code enforcement officer's vehicle, still yelling obscenities at him. When the code enforcement officer took out his cellphone and attempted to take a photo of the woman's license plate, the woman put her car in reverse and hit him.
The woman initially denied hitting the officer, but after police arrived, "apologized profusely."
The woman was not arrested at the scene. However, Sgt. Jeff LaBlue told the The Fresno Bee that the case will be referred to the Fresno County District Attorney's Office for possible assault charges.
According to the email, the officer recognized the woman as the owner of an unnamed salon that had been served two notices by code enforcement.
California has seen coronavirus cases and deaths skyrocket in recent weeks, even setting a record for single-day coronavirus deaths on Wednesday. According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University, California currently has the highest number of confirmed cases in the United States and would be fifth overall in the world if the Golden State were its own country.