The Galveston Police Department’s warrant division is looking for the mask-averse Oregon woman whose scuffle with an officer in a bank lobby last week became fodder for both sides of the face-cover debate.
“The warrant division is handling the particulars,” department spokeswoman Sgt. Stacy Papillion said. “Once she is arrested, she will be booked into the Galveston County Jail on the outstanding warrants.”
Terry Wright, 65, of Grants Pass, Oregon, as of Tuesday afternoon hadn’t been formally arrested or charged in the Galveston County court system. She apparently left the hospital where she’d been taken after being handcuffed and removed from a Bank of America branch on Century City Boulevard.
No officers were stationed at the hospital while she was being treated, Papillion said.
Wright’s encounter with a police officer inside the bank made international headlines over her refusal to leave the building after being asked to put on a face mask.
Wright was sought on outstanding warrants for misdemeanor charges of criminal trespassing and resisting arrest, according to the Galveston Police Department.
Wright told the officer she believed she didn’t have to wear a mask because the state had lifted its requirement.
Although Texas Gov. Greg Abbott had that week lifted statewide masking orders in public places, he emphasized individual businesses and institutions could make their own decisions about whether to require masks on their properties.
Galveston police had warned that people refusing to follow a private businesses’ rules or leave could be charged with criminal trespass, typically a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a fine of as much as $2,000, or both, according to the Texas Penal Code.
In an encounter caught on a body camera, Wright continued to refuse to leave the building until the officer reached to handcuff her.
A struggle ensued, and the officer forced Wright to the ground and put the handcuffs on her.
Officers didn’t arrest Wright immediately because she was taken to a hospital for treatment for her injuries, Papillion said. No officers were stationed at the hospital while she was being treated, Papillion said.
It was unclear Tuesday whether police know where to find Wright, although numerous news reporters had.
News of her arrest was published by The Washington Post and The Guardian newspaper in London and was featured on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” on Fox News, among other places.
Wright has given multiple interviews since leaving the hospital. She said her foot had been broken during her struggle with the officer. She told The Washington Post she was staying at an RV Park in Hitchcock.
Wright told a local TV station she had traveled to Galveston as part of a “bucket list” road trip and entered the bank in an attempt to close her account.
During the same interview, she said she never wore masks, even when required, and made a reference to believing in the “plandemic,” a false conspiracy theory about the origins of the coronavirus.