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Police: Rhode Island man assaulted 16-year-old Walmart worker over mask request

Michael Caro, 34, of Woonsocket, was charged with simple assault and battery and disorderly conduct and released with a court summons.

In this Nov. 18, 2020 file photo, a Walmart store sign is visible from Route 28 in Derry, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Police in Rhode Island say a man assaulted a 16-year-old Walmart worker after refusing to put a mask on his young child.

Authorities say the altercation occurred at a Walmart in North Smithfield after the teenage employee informed the man that store policy required his toddler to wear a mask. The man refused, and then the teen went to notify a manager, the man put him in a choke hold and punched him.

Police said they contacted the suspect, who turned himself in. They identified him as Michael Caro, 34, of Woonsocket. He was charged with simple assault and battery and disorderly conduct and released with a court summons.

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Masks should be worn by everyone two years and older when in public areas, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A message left with a phone number believed to be Caro’s was not immediately returned Saturday. It was unclear if he has hired legal representation.

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