Authorities in Colorado say they've arrested a Denver man on suspicion of attempted murder after he opened fire on a Waffle House employee who told him he needed to wear a mask.
Kevin Watson, 27, was arrested on Monday after the attack occurred early Friday at a restaurant in the Denver suburb of Aurora, police said in a statement. Officers say they responded to reports of a fight and found the Waffle House employee with a gunshot wound.
"The victim was transported to the hospital and is recovering from his injury," police said.
According to an arrest affidavit obtained by KDVR, Watson was attempting to purchase some take-out food from the Waffle House just after midnight on May 14, when he was informed by one of the cooks who worked there that they would not serve him unless he was wearing a mask or face covering.
Police say Watson returned later that night with a mask, but not wearing it. He was again turned away by the same Waffle House employee. Watson then allegedly put a gun on the counter and threatened the cook, saying he would "blow your brains out," the affadavit said.
Watson returned a third time the following night on Friday, and was again rejected by the cook. That's when Watson allegedly slapped the cook before opening fire.
The victim was running when he was shot in the chest or abdomen, according to the report.
The area's stay-at-home orders were allowed to expire on May 8, with residents in Aurora defaulting back to the state rules, which encourage residents to wear a mask or face covering whenever they leave their homes.
Waffle House is currently open for takeout and delivery only.
"We are deeply saddened and regret that this senseless act of violence occurred,” Waffle House spokesperson Njeri Boss said.
Watson was arrested Monday morning. The cook was taken to a local hospital where he was treated and released.
Photo: Aurora Police Department