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Garda witness appeal after anti-masker allegedly threatened Dublin cafe staff in ‘homophobic rant’

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Gardai want to speak to anyone who witnessed an anti-masker allegedly threatening staff at a Dublin cafe last week.

The man allegedly roared abuse and homophobic remarks at baristas in Butler’s Chocolate Cafe on Grafton Street after he was asked to wear a mask while buying a bag of chocolates.

He then left the shop and allegedly assaulted a member of the public near College Green before returning around 10 minutes later.

Investigating gardai say it happened on Thursday afternoon, November 18, and want to speak to anyone who was in the Grafton Street area between 3.55pm and 4.25pm and may have witnessed something.

No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing.

Staff told the Irish Mirror they were “terrified” the man would “come back with a knife” after enduring his homophobic expletive-laden rant.

They said: “My staff member asked him kindly to please wear a mask.

“Customers are not allowed to enter here without a mask. He said ‘I’m sorry I don’t have it, where can I buy it?’ The staff member said you can get it in Spar or wherever else.

“He bought a small bag of chocolates here and he started to say very rude words to my staff and he left.”

A video of the event was circulated on social media where the man is seen shouting at staff while recording the incident with his phone before leaving.

The incident in Butlers was captured on video
The incident in Butlers was captured on video

The man can be heard using a number of homophobic slurs towards one staff member after asking him if he had any children.

He became so aggressive that he began trying to break the plastic Covid-19 protection barriers in the cafe.

They added: “My first impulse was to call the guards because when I saw him on the CCTV he had a big phone but I thought it was a gun.

“I saw shortly afterwards that it was just a cell phone. He was recording all the staff and shouting at them.”

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