Man told to wear mask at Trader Joe’s launches into tirade

in Crime

A Santa Barbara man allegedly launched into a tirade at the Trader Joe’s in San Mateo after being advised by an employee to wear a mask earlier this month pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery on Thursday, prosecutors said.

Chad Busto, 40, reportedly walked into the store on Grant Street at 11:40 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 8, and screamed “do not touch me” when an employee told him he needed to wear a mask, even when the employee hadn’t touched him, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

Busto then reportedly pushed the victim before walking around the store unmasked and screaming, prosecutors said.

Police were called and Busto waved the officers over, saying he was the person Trader Joe’s employees had called about. He refused to follow police directions and was arrested, and then he refused to leave the patrol car upon arrival at the police station and had to be removed, prosecutors said.

“He gave no reason for refusing to wear a mask,” prosecutors said.

Busto’s plea deal came under the condition that he serve 25 days in county jail, and given credit for 20 days time that he has already served. He was also ordered to stay away from the Trader Joe’s in San Mateo at all times.

Busto has had a history of run-ins with the law dating back more than a decade, including charges of indecent exposure, resisting arrest, erratic behavior, and asking teenage girls for sex.