A man remained hospitalized Tuesday after being stabbed in what witnesses said was a dispute with a security guard over the victim’s refusal to wear a mask in a Santa Monica grocery store.

According to witnesses, the guard confronted the man around 10:30 p.m. Monday at a Vons store in the 700 block of Broadway because the man wasn’t wearing a face mask, as required indoors by Los Angeles County due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Witnesses said the confrontation quickly escalated as the man became belligerent.

A struggle ensued, during which the guard pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed the man, according to police and witnesses.

“When somebody came up to break it up, pull them apart, but then that guy was bleeding profusely, where he’d (the guard) gotten him,” witness Andre Berryman told CBS2. “So that was pretty much what happened. It was all behind him not wearing a mask.”

The man was taken to a hospital in unknown condition. CBS2 reported that the man was recovering, but was being generally uncooperative with investigators trying to interview him at the hospital.

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