An altercation over wearing a face mask at a store escalated to an alleged assault with a deadly weapon and a wild pursuit in Rancho Cucamonga, and a suspect was arrested, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
On Aug. 4 at 1:03 p.m., deputies from the Rancho Cucamonga Station were dispatched to the ARCO Gas Station in the 12200 block of Highland Avenue regarding a disagreement between the victim (the store manager) and a customer, later identified as Scott Thomas, a 39-year-old Montclair resident.
Employees at the gas station reported that Thomas was upset because he was refused service for not wearing a mask properly inside the store and allegedly threw a display rack at the victim.
The dispute between the two escalated outside the store when the victim stood behind Thomas’ truck in an attempt to get a picture of the license plate. Thomas put his truck in reverse and accelerated. The victim didn’t have time to get out of the way, so he jumped on the trailer hitch and held on to the tail gate. Thomas sped out of the parking lot with the victim holding on to the tail gate.
The victim jumped inside the bed of the truck for safety because Thomas would not slow down enough for him to jump off safely, the Sheriff's Department said.
Thomas drove erratically for about a mile, accelerating and slamming on his brakes several times, before he pulled over, grabbed the victim and threw him to the ground, the Sheriff's Department said.
Deputies conducted an area check and found the victim near Vintage Avenue and Rochester Avenue.
Deputies also located Thomas in his truck and attempted a traffic stop. Thomas allegedly failed to yield and continued to drive to his girlfriend’s house nearby, where he was taken into custody, the Sheriff's Department said.
Thomas was booked in at West Valley Detention Center, where he remained in custody on $50,000 bail.
Medical aid responded and the victim was treated at the scene for minor injuries and released.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Rancho Cucamonga Sheriff’s Station. Callers wishing to remain anonymous can call the We-Tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or leave information at www.wetip.com.