Boise restaurant turns away patron claiming to hold 'face mask exempt' card; receives criticism

Posted at 11:15 AM, Jul 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-30 11:12:16-04

BOISE, Idaho — A fraudulent card bearing the Department of Justice seal is making its way into the hands of folks against wearing face masks.

The DOJ and Americans with Disabilities Act have come forward publicly stating they do not endorse or support the card. Last week in Downtown Boise, an individual claiming to possess one of the exemption cards walked into Dharma Sushi and Thai and was upset after being refused service for not wearing a face mask.

The restaurant, a privately owned business, requires all customers and staff to wear masks in their restaurant unless eating or drinking. Signs at the restaurant's entrance state the policy, and Dharma has spread the message on its social media accounts, asking that anyone who cannot or will not wear a face mask refrain from visiting their location.

One of Dharma’s owners tells Idaho News 6 they will continue to enforce their policy because should an outbreak happened at the store, they'd have to close, and it could mean the business ending altogether.

The individual refused service claims to have post-traumatic stress disorder. They state that wearing a mask could trigger an episode and several times throughout the video, the same individual references having a “medical exemption.” Upon exiting the restaurant, a male partner shows local authorities his “face mask exempt card” telling them that refusal to comply with the card can result in a fine.

This incident was filmed on a cell phone by the individual involved. After the encounter, this person uploaded the content online, where it received just over 32,000 views (the video has since been removed for privacy reasons). Dharma’s owner says that the video led to a series of threats and one-star reviews from strangers out of state.

Idaho News 6 reported earlier on the face mask exempt card scams. You can see that report here.