Man punches Pacific Beach bar manager during argument over face masks, police say
A man in a group of patrons who refused to wear face masks at a Pacific Beach bar during Labor Day weekend sucker-punched a manager in an assault that was captured on video, according to the manager and police.
Bystander and surveillance videos show the assailant running up to a group scuffling in the outdoor seating area of 710 Beach Club on Garnet Avenue and throwing a single punch. The blow left the bar manager with a broken nose.
Tony Aversa told NBC7 that he greeted a man who asked to speak with a manager after the man and others he was with refused to wear masks, which are required under county health regulations unless patrons are eating or drinking.
"[The man] claimed our security guard had been rude — that was his initial complaint,” Aversa told the station. “I was like, ‘I’d be happy to talk to you about it. I just need you to put a mask on — you’re literally within inches of my face right now.’”
The man didn’t comply. Instead, he pushed a bartender, Aversa said, and a scuffle ensued. That’s when another man, in the same group, ran over and punched Aversa.
“It felt like getting hit by a brick,” Aversa recalled. “I felt my nose pop out of place.”
San Diego police said the assault happened at about 7 p.m. Sept. 5 and is under investigation. The assailant was said to be Pacific Islander, 6 feet 2 inches tall and 260 pounds, with brown curly hair. He was wearing a white T-shirt and shorts.
A GoFundMe page created on Aversa’s behalf states he has been unable to work and will need to see a specialist and undergo surgery. The page says he faces “a long road to recovery.”
The page includes the video of the attack and a picture of Aversa at a hospital with a bloody nose.