Police officer attacked by “Pizza Karen” – a woman who was angry at being told to wear a mask in a restaurant

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GRAND HAVEN, MI – A woman, being called Pizza Karen on social media, raised a ruckus at a pizza restaurant in Michigan over the mandatory mask requirements. 

As reported by MLive:

“According to the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety: North allegedly entered a Jet’s Pizza shop and became upset when asked to wear a mask, which is mandated by the state. North allegedly approached the counter, stuck her hands under a barrier and made an obscene gesture while cursing at employees, the website reported.”

Another patron tried to intervene, and North allegedly kicked them. 

She threw her tantrum and then she left. In the parking lot, she was getting in her truck when Officer Everardo Pedroza Jr. was arriving to investigate the call. Pedroza ordered North to stop, but she failed to comply. 

She put the truck in reverse, and in the process of backing, she ran over the officer’s foot and then drove away. 

Fellow officers joined Pedroza in the pursuit, which only lasted a few minutes as the Department of Public Safety officers terminated their pursuit at US 31 and Sternberg Road. That is the Fruitport Township line. 

North was arrested a short time later by Fruitport Township Police. 

She is charged with fleeing and eluding police, resisting, obstructing the police, causing injury, and disturbing the peace. 

Officer Pedroza was treated at the North Ottawa Community Hospital for an injured foot. He is expected to recover fully.

Police officer attacked by "Pizza Karen" - a woman who was angry at being told to wear a mask in a restaurant
YouTube screenshot

The Michigan mask mandate requires businesses to refuse entry to those not wearing masks. Individual businesses run the risk of losing their business licenses as well as any specialty licenses they may require if they do not comply. 

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The state of Michigan has been especially vocal in that arena, trying to shut down a barber who was simply trying to run his shop. It was a story that gained national attention and wound up at the Michigan Supreme Court. 

OWOSSU, MI – A 77-year old Michigan barber celebrated Friday as the Michigan Supreme Court cast a sweeping vote in his favor against Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The outspoken small business owner has captured the attention of many Americans who have hailed him as a small town hero willing to stand up to government overreach during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Karl Manke opened his barber shop in 1961 in the small town of Owossu, Michigan.

With less than 15,000 residents, Manke’s shop was a Main Street staple.

When the coronavirus pandemic spread to Michigan, Manke’s business was rocked under the Governor’s orders to close suddenly. However, Manke was not willing to simply comply with Governor Whitmer’s orders to close the business he built more than half a century ago.

Despite executive orders, Manke opened his shop and continued to cut his patron’s hair. He said to Fox and Friends:

“And as far as I’m concerned, I’m opening up… I have a livelihood. I have a business that I have to protect. I have clients [who] rely on me. And I’m going to continue on. I’m not going to stand down.”

Manke was ordered to shut down or face revocation of his license. His battle began in the courtroom as he continued to cut hair. According to Michigan Live, the state sought for the courts to impose a fine on Manke of $7,500 for “the unlawful operation of his barber shop on June 1, 2020” and requested an additional $7,500 to be imposed for every day the shop remained open.

Further, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services pursued an additional $5,000 in damages from the small business owner.

However, Manke appealed lower court decisions until the Michigan Supreme Court agreed to hear his case. On Friday, victory was delivered and the Supreme Court vacated lower courts findings sending the case back down for more thorough consideration.

Manke has made national headlines not only for his defiance but for his humor and quick wit in interviews. Aside from lighter comments such as that the shop would remain open “until Jesus comes”, Manke has garnered much attention for profound statements that resonate with many Americans.

Time magazine’s Ed White quoted Manke succinctly saying:

“The government is not my mother, never has been… ‘I’ve been in business longer than they’ve been alive.”

Governor Gretchan Whitmer has been in the spotlight as she implemented some of the most extreme measures during the COVID shutdown.

As early as March, the Governor mandated which types of items could be purchased in the big box stores that were permitted to remain open, preventing the sale of sections of items like fruit and vegetable seeds which many argued were essential.

The Governor was further caught in several embarrassing moments during the pandemic shutdown. A Michigan marina owner took to social media relaying a request from the Governor’s husband Mark Mallory to put the couple’s boat in the water in time for Memorial Day, skipping the queue of other Michigan residents already waiting.

Mallory allegedly advised the marina owner that his wife was the Governor seeking to pressure the small business owner into making a special exception for the First Family.

Governor Whitmer brushed off her husband’s behavior calling it a “failed attempt at humor”, the National Review’s Tobias Hoonhout reports.

The Governor has also been making headlines this week as she claimed that the state’s lockdown measures would likely be extended claiming that protesters were spreading coronavirus.

However, according to Detroit News’ Craig Mauger and James David Dickson, the Governor herself attended a protest maintaining a distance of less than 6 feet from others.

Spokesperson for the Governor’s office responded to cries of hypocrisy stating that it did not violate the mandates as the executive orders included a statement that “Nothing in this order shall be taken to abridge protections guaranteed by the state or federal constitution.”

However, many Michigan residents feel that their own protected rights have been violated by the same orders for nearly three months. Michigan Live reports Manke’s own views on the constitutionality of Whitmer’s orders. The spunky septuagenarian said:

“I don’t have any intentions of being bullied… I really don’t mind her being governor, but when (Whitmer) starts this ruling stuff, then I take exception to that… It’s not part of our Constitution. It shows her immaturity as a leader, not being able to govern, instead having to rely on police state tactics in order to get her agenda taken care of.”

Even prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling, Manke did not hold back on his feelings towards the Governor’s orders. According to Breitbart, he had said “This is an oppressive move on this governor’s part,” and further commented that it “reflects almost a police state.”

So, what was the response from local police to Manke’s adamant refusal to comply? Manke recalled to WLNS an interaction he had with an area officer saying:

“I had a police man stop by this morning… I thought okay here it is…it’s done. He said I love you and walked out.”

 

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