Albany man who allegedly hit store employee over mask requirement arrested

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Police say Richard Chirse, 33, of Albany was arrested on Monday night for an alleged June assault over wearing a face mask in public.

Chirse was arrested following an investigation by detectives into an altercation that was captured on video. An unmasked man in the video, identified as Chirse by police, becomes aggressive after an employee, striking the employee twice in the head, kicking him, and rushing out of the store.

Police say Chirse also made statements about the race of the employee. The 27-year-old victim was treated at the scene and was sent to the hospital for further evaluation after the assault.

The incident took place around 5:30 p.m. on June 12 at Hair and Wig Beauty Supply on Central Avenue.

Chirse is on parole. He is being charged with third-degree assault as a hate crime. Third-degree assault is a class A misdemeanor that carries just under one year in prison if convicted. However, given Chirse’s criminal record and the hate crime classification, a conviction could be worth as much as 4 years, according to state sentencing guidelines.