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San Diego bar manager assaulted by maskless customer over PPE enforcement

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A bar manager in San Diego says he was assaulted by a man who refused to wear a face mask over Labor Day weekend, and will need surgery to fix his broken nose.

The alleged act of violence was captured on video by a security camera outside the 710 Beach Club on Saturday, Sept. 5, and it shows a man in a white or light gray shirt run up and punch Tony Aversa.

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“I can't breathe out of my nose. It's been about 9 or 10 days of swelling. Bruising has gone down a bit, but I still can't touch my face. My cheeks are bruised, my mouth is bruised. I'm just kinda gradually starting to eat solid food again,” Aversa told Fox News over a phone interview.

His entire right nostril has collapsed and will require surgery. He has a consultation with a facial surgeon this week.

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A GoFundMe was set up on Aversa’s behalf by Felice LaVita, which is intended to help him cover medical costs and lost wages.

The man who allegedly assaulted Aversa was a part of a group of men who tried to enter the bar without masks.

The 710 Beach Club is a sports bar that is located in Pacific Beach, San Diego. (Google)

San Diego County began allowing indoor dining on Aug. 31 so long as masks, social distancing and restaurant capacity protocols are being followed, according to California’s dedicated COVID-19 health information and reopening website.

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However, the men were reportedly unwilling to put on masks in order to be seated. As the manager for the bar that day, Aversa said he went to the entrance of the 710 Beach Club to assist the security guard with the uncooperative group.

The exchange escalated when one of the men allegedly pushed a female bartender who stopped by the entrance in search of Aversa.

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“It seems like the longer the bars, restaurants, stores, salons are staying open, the more comfortable people are getting with things being back to normal, the more issues they're having with following these rules,” he said regarding other recent attacks against service workers who have had to impose face mask rules. “It's like the last month has gotten exponentially worse as far as people just complaining about being over it. We're the ones forcing the rules, unfortunately. So we take the brunt of it.”

Not enforcing coronavirus-related mask rules could put a business at risk of a state-enforced shutdown, according to Aversa. And when it comes down to restaurants and bars, a liquor license could be in jeopardy.

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So far, Aversa has not heard of his assailant or any of the other men present being identified.

The San Diego Police Department did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

LaVita, who organized the GoFundMe for Aversa is also launching a petition to urge Gov. Gavin Newsom to make mask-related assaults on service workers a felony charge. Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker passed a law like this last month.

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“In a perfect world, everyone would follow rules, mind their manners, be socially responsible and care for the well-beings of others,” LaVita told Fox News via email. “But we don't live in a perfect world. So, we need deterrents to make people think twice.”

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