TOMS RIVER — A man and woman whipped an Ocean County Mall store manager with a belt, spot on her and threatened to kill her after she told them to put on a mask, she told Townsquare Media.

Police say they're still investigating the incident.

Nicole Carroll, 30, said that when the pair came into the Zumiez skateboard store on Thursday just after 3 p.m. , he told them to put the masks hanging around their neck on their faces.

"I was like, 'Hey, can you guys just lift up your mask?' and they ignored me or didn't hear me, so I said it again and it went from 0 to 100 really fast. He started yelling at me, screaming, and then he grabbed one of the belts and started whipping it in the air and then whipped it back and hit me," Carrol said.

An executive order by Gov. Phil Murphy, meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, requires anyone in a store to wear a mask. It makes exceptions for those who have medical conditions that make it difficult to do so. Masks are also required outside when social distancing isn't possible.

Carroll said the woman got behind her and screamed at her as they left the store.

"I decided to follow them because one, you're not going to get away with it, two, you just assaulted me in my own store," Carroll said. She also hoped to get a license plate number of their car.

"As soon as I got outside the guy threatened to kill me, and (he said) that he wasn't afraid to go back to jail. That was really exciting and scary at the same time," Carroll said.

She said the woman "got in front of me and spit on my chest spit, which was disgusting."

The pair didn't go to a car but instead left the mall property on foot, Carroll said. She said mall security members told her to let them handle the situation.

"Apparently they've been banned from the mall," Carroll said.

Carroll said this was her first altercation with anyone about wearing a mask inside the store.

"Everyone's been very respectful of the policy and respectful of other human beings," Carroll said.

Toms River police said the investigation is ongoing.

The Patch of Toms River was first to report this story.

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