The Free Press

MANKATO — Authorities have identified and charged a customer who allegedly slapped a Menards employee during a confrontation over wearing a mask.

Heidi Ruth Mueller, 35, of North Mankato, was charged with misdemeanor counts of assault and disorderly conduct Monday in Blue Earth County District Court.

A woman later identified as Mueller was not wearing a mask as required by the store when she walked into the Mankato Menards on May 17.

Mueller quarreled with an employee who informed her of the policy and then pulled down the employee’s mask, according to a court complaint.

When the male employee then asked Mueller to leave, she allegedly slapped the man in the face, ripped off his mask and threw it in the garbage before she left.

The assault was captured on surveillance video, the charges say. Another Menards employee shared it on social media and tipsters identified Mueller as the suspect.

A Mankato police investigator compared the video to Mueller’s driver’s license photo and agreed that Mueller appeared to be the woman in the video.

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