Published February 15, 2021
Chattanooga, TN – Hamilton County currently requires face coverings to be worn in public under the most recent mask mandate, however, there are exceptions.
“Effective at 12:01 a.m. on January 16, 2021, all persons in Hamilton County shall wear a facial covering or mask which covers the mouth and nose at all times when indoors in all public and private buildings and when outdoors except under the following exceptions:
Persons seated for the purpose of dining in any restaurant or business that provides food and/or drink for on premises consumption.”
Local Bliss Causby said she was drinking when the situation at Chattanooga Billiards Club (CBC) escalated to assault-like behavior and that’s why she did not consistently have her mask on.
According to the Chattanooga Police Department’s report of the incident, Causby wore her mask when asked to but later took it off while in the bar, which appears to be covered by the mandate exemption.
However, the report continues to allege that after being asked a second time to keep her mask on, she was asked to leave the bar anyway.
A bystander caught the end of the event on video, but Causby claims it doesn’t show the whole story. Causby said she showed back to the scene and asked CBC management for surveillance video.
“I filed a complaint with them and they said they didn’t know the name of the (surveillance) company they were using,” she said.
In the video shared via Instagram, that Causby called infuriating, she can be seen being pulled across the ground by her hair.
Security continued to drag her along the floor of the bar as Causby can be heard screaming.
“I asked her why and then she (security) got really aggressive and pushed me. And I asked her not to put her hands on me,” Causby said, “that is when she grabbed me by my hair and threw me to the ground, hit me in the face, hit me in the head, started kicking me and that is when a guy friend came over and pulled me out of there,” she reported.
“Some hair was pulled out; my face was puffed and swollen. My neck hurts. I had horrible bruises on my arm and my back.”
Causby reported that she did not initiate the confrontation. Management nor security have been willing to make statements at this time and police are still investigating the incident.
Causby is currently talking to an attorney to help rectify what she considers a humiliating experience that she hopes will never happen to anyone else.
This may be the first violent confrontation we’ve seen captured in the county in regards to the mask mandate, but it isn’t the first incident of legal action.
Last year, the Hamilton County Health Department filed a temporary injunction against a local heat and air conditioning company for violation of the county’s mask mandate but the issue was later dropped.
Bud’s Sports Bar was cited for non-compliance by the Health Department as well, but an attorney for Bud’s says they are making every effort to comply with the mask mandate in a way that makes sense within the daily constraints of the restaurant industry.
Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger responded to this incident stating, “We aren’t so interested in the punitive part unless you are a habitual offender.”
Nonetheless, as we previously covered, Tennessee legislators are actively proposing bills to liberate their constituents from unconstitutional executive orders that appear to result in violence or resentment between residents and suffering for small businesses.