Terry Lynn Wright, 65, of Grants Pass, Josephine County, Oregon, United States was in Galveston, Texas, USA on March 11, 2021. She entered a Bank of America on Central City Boulevard in Galveston without a face mask at around 12:30 p.m. that day.
The manager of the bank called police because Wright refused to follow its face mask policy amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. One Galveston Police Department officer arrived and asked her to either wear a mask while inside or leave the bank.
“What are you going to do?” Wright asked the officer. “Arrest me? That’s hilarious.”
Wright refused to comply with the officer’s order. She said, “The law says I don’t have to wear a mask.”
After the statewide mask mandate in Texas ended on March 10, 2021, many businesses decided to keep their mask requirements. The officer explained to Wright that the state’s decision to lift the mandate does not apply to private businesses like the Bank of America.
As captured in the officer’s body camera, Wright was standing in the middle of the bank’s lobby. All of the customers surrounding her were wearing masks.
When the officer took out handcuffs, Wright pulled away and started to walk toward the door. The officer stopped her and forced her to the ground.
“This old lady is getting handcuffed here!” Wright complained. “I hope someone is filming this.”
“I am filming this,” the officer told Wright. While handcuffed, she complained that her foot was injured and told the other customers, “Police brutality right here, people.”
During the struggle, Wright suffered minor injuries. She was later treated at a University of Texas Medical Branch hospital, according to The Daily News.
On March 12, 2021, a warrant was issued for Wright’s arrest, KHOU reported. She was charged with resisting arrest and criminal trespassing.
The Grants Pass resident told ABC13 that she does not believe in the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to wear face masks. She said, “I won’t wear that diaper on my face.”
According to Wright, she traveled to Galveston in a recreational van to cross off items off her bucket list. She wanted to close her Bank of America account and the Central City Boulevard location was the only one that was open to her that day she was arrested for not wearing a face mask.