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Grants Pass woman arrested on Texas mask related trespassing warrant

A Grants Pass woman who refused to wear a mask at a Galveston, Texas, bank was arrested Wednesday morning in a nearby Texas town.

Terry Lynn Wright, 65, was arrested at an Office Depot store in Texas City on misdemeanor trespassing warrants accusing her of refusing to leave or abide by a Bank of America branch’s mask-wearing policy March 12.

The day prior, the governor of Texas had rescinded all statewide orders surrounding mask requirements in public places, but Texas businesses are allowed to set their own policies surrounding face masks.

The Galveston encounter with Wright made headlines in national news outlets such as the Washington Post and ABC News after the Galveston Police Department Friday released bodycam video that showed her refusing an officer’s requests to leave the bank lobby or put on a mask.

“What are you going to do, arrest me?” she asked the Galveston police officer, according to Associated Press reports.

“Yes, for intruding on premises,” the officer replied.

“That’s hilarious,” Wright said.

A struggle with police ensued, and she reportedly suffered minor injuries.

Wright then told the officer the law said she didn’t have to wear a mask. As the officer took out handcuffs, she pulled away and began to walk toward the door. The officer stopped her and forced her to the ground. After she was handcuffed, she complained that her foot was injured.

“Police brutality right here people,” she said to the other customers at the bank on video from the officer’s bodycam. Replies of “no” and “no, it’s not” could be heard. She was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. Galveston police issued a warrant for her arrest.

Wright told The Washington Post that she has never covered her face inside stores, even when the statewide mandate was in place. She said she was in an RV park across the bay from Galveston in Hitchcock, Texas.

She told the newspaper she was “attacked” and compared mask requirements to the way that Nazi Germany forced Jewish people to identify themselves with a Star of David. She also said she believed in a “plandemic” in a reference to a documentary-style video in which an anti-vaccine activist promotes a string of questionable, false and potentially dangerous coronavirus theories.

At 9:08 a.m. Wednesday morning, police were dispatched to an Office Depot store in Texas City — roughly 16 miles from where the Bank of America incident occurred — after a store employee reported a woman inside refusing to put on a mask or leave the store, according to a Texas City police news release.

When approached by police, the woman refused to identify herself; however, Texas City police recognized Wright from the earlier bodycam video and confirmed with Galveston police that Wright had warrants out for her arrest on two misdemeanor charges: criminal trespass and resisting arrest, search or transport.

Wright was booked in the Galveston County Jail Wednesday on the charges, and remained held Thursday on $2,500 bond.

Wright’s criminal history in Oregon is limited to one conviction from 2004 in Multnomah County, when she pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and recklessly endangering another person.

A related impaired driving charge — for which Wright pleaded no contest — was later dismissed upon Wright’s successful completion of a diversion program.

Judge Ellen Rosenblum sentenced Wright to 18 days in jail, 80 hours of community service and suspended her driver’s license for 90 days, Multnomah County Circuit Court records show.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat. Materialfrom The Associated Press was used in this report.

This frame grab from police body cam video provided by the Galveston Police Department, in Galveston, Texas, shows Terry Wright, 65, of Grants Pass, Oregon, arguing with an officer inside a Bank of America branch, Thursday, March 11, 2021, in Galveston, after being told she needed to leave the bank because she was not wearing a face mask, amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Galveston Police Department via AP)
Terry Lynn Wright, 65, of Grants Pass, was arrested Wednesday at a Texas City, Texas Office Depot store on a trespassing warrant issued March 11 by Galveston, Texas police. In both the March 11 and 17 altercations Wright allegedly refused to follow store polices surrounding masks. Galveston County Jail booking photo.