The owner of a restaurant in Harrisonburg, Va., claimed that Sen. Amanda Chase (R-Chesterfield) threatened to sue the business on Sunday over their rules requiring patrons to wear a mask while dining inside. Chase, the only Republican who has officially declared a run for governor, says she provided a letter from her doctor verifying that she has an underlying health condition that prevents her from wearing a mask and that she was belittled “in front of other store patrons.”
Katharine N. Pellerito, who owns Vito’s Italian Kitchen with her husband, shared a Facebook post on Monday morning detailing her account of the encounter with Chase over the weekend.
“Aspiring gubernatorial candidate and current state senator Amanda Chase came into our restaurant. Instead of support, she threatened to sue us and insulted us because of our mask requirement,” Pellerito wrote. “She had a note from her doctor, claiming a medical exemption. She recorded my husband while he was explaining to her our policy and got on the phone with her lawyer while in our restaurant.”
The post has since been shared more than 2,500 times and has nearly 2,000 comments.
In her own Facebook post, Chase wrote that she was initially denied service at two stores, businesses which she did not identify, for refusing to wear a mask but was later provided service. She alleged that she was harassed for her medical exemption.
“Once I provided a letter from my doctor I was finally provided service, but not without being harassed and belittled in front of other store patrons,” she claimed.
“Not everyone can wear a mask,” Chase continued. “They should not feel demoralized, demonized, or forced to explain their medical condition to justify why they are not wearing a mask.”
This story is developing. Check back for updates.