Thug hurls homophobic slurs at café staff in vile rant. They only asked him to wear a face mask

A man points his phone at a café worker behind a counter

A fully grown man launched into a vile homophobic rant simply after a café worker asked him to put a face mask on in Dublin, Ireland.

In startling mobile phone footage, a customer at the Butlers Chocolates café on College Green bristled with anger as he was told to wear a mask by baristas.

He barked abuse and homophobic remarks at the staffers who kindly asked he wear a face covering while buying a bag of chocolate treats on 18 November.

The man, who reportedly works as a fitness instructor, recorded the dust-up as he threatened to call the An Garda Síochána, Ireland’s national police otherwise known as the Gardaí, and the employee’s manager.

As he threatened the staff with violence, he pressed them about whether they had any children. When the worker said no, the man growled: “Why? Because you’re a queer, you f****t.”

Staff ‘terrified’ thug without face mask would come back with a knife

It curdled into violence shortly after, the Irish Mirror reported, when he began banging on the COVID-19 protective barriers in the café and punched a pedestrian.

“He was inside the shop shouting and trying to break the protective COVID glass,” a café staffer told the newspaper. “He left and punched someone in the face outside but then ran away.

“It was really terrible,” they said, adding that the staff member on the receiving end of the abuse was sent home.

“We were terrified that this guy would come back with a knife or a baseball bat. We don’t know what this guy is capable of.”

In Ireland, people must legally wear a face mask on public transport and in shops and other indoor settings. Eatery staff can also refuse entry for those who refuse to wear one while on their way to and from their table.

Across the world, mask-wearing – a piece of fabric on the face to protect others from the coronavirus – has become a flashpoint in the ongoing culture war around the pandemic.

The choice not to wear a face mask has, for some, become a badge of pride, despite the ever-growing evidence that masks help prevent the spread of the virus.

While some will respond with a dirty look or an eye roll to being asked to wear a mask, some refusals escalate into violence and, more often than not, homophobia.

A Gardaí spokesperson told PinkNews: “Gardaí are investigating a public order incident which occurred at a business premises on Grafton Street, Dublin 2 on 18 November 2021.

“No arrests have been made at this time. Enquiries are ongoing.

“An Garda Síochána takes any crime or incident, with a hate motivation, seriously, and incidents reported to us are professionally investigated.

“An Garda Síochána encourages anyone who believes they may have been the victim of any crime or incident with a hate motivation to report it to any Garda Station.”