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GOTCHA! Woman Charged With Assaulting Staples Customer Over COVID Mask

Terri Thomas

UPDATE: Hackensack detectives arrested a city woman Tuesday in last week's viral video assault of a Staples customer who asked her to wear her COVID mask.

Terri Thomas was charged with aggravated assault by city detectives who arrested her on Tuesday.

She was released pending an Aug. 24 first appearance in Central Judicial Processing Court in Hackensack.

“Detectives Demetrius Carroll, Ioannis Papnikolaou and James Han, in particular, did a fantastic job,” Capt. Darrin DeWitt said.

“I also thank the Hackensack Staples store and the Staples corporate office for their cooperation, which was crucial I solving the case,” DeWitt said.

The captain also emphasized that a surveillance video that went viral ended just before Staples employees rushed over to help.

They “called 911 and tended to the victim within seconds of the assault,” DeWitt said. “Unfortunately the video clip that was released ends just prior to them helping her.”

The video shows a woman identified as Thomas assaulting Margot Kagan, 54, of Teaneck last Wednesday.

Kagan was using the fax/copy machine at the Hackensack Avenue store when Thomas approached another machine with her face mask pulled below her mouth,  DeWitt said.

Kagan, who’d had liver transplant surgery four months ago and was walking with a cane, said she asked the woman to put on her mask.


Surveillance video from Staples in Hackensack.


The woman became angry and rushed at Kagan, pointing her finger, as the single mom of two teens lifted her cane within inches of the woman’s chest in defense.

Thomas then grabbed Kagan, threw her down and left the store, DeWitt said.

An ambulance took Kagan to Hackensack University Medical Center with a fractured left tibia, he said.

Surveillance image from Staples in Hackensack.



ALSO SEE: An insurance broker from Hackensack beat and bit a pre-teen who then ran from home to escape further abuse, authorities said Wednesday.


ALSO SEE: It began with a couple of after-prom parties and an extended Jersey Shore weekend. Then came the revelation that a Cresskill High School graduate had tested positive for the coronavirus. As of Tuesday, the number was up to 20, authorities said.


UPDATE: Party-goers packed a backyard Vegas-like bash that spilled into the street at a posh Bergen County mansion this past weekend, bringing police, an ambulance – and, now, scrutiny from the New Jersey Attorney General's Office.


Terri Thomas


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