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Barstow man arrested after threatening to shoot Walmart employee who asked him to wear a face-covering

BARSTOW, Calif. ( — A 22-year-old Barstow man was arrested after allegedly threatening to shoot a Walmart employee who informed him he needed to wear a face-covering due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.

It happened inside the Walmart at 301 Montara Road in Barstow on April 12, 2020.

Officer Kenneth Jones with the Barstow Police Department was dispatched to the store reference a male subject who had threatened one of the employees.

According to a news release, Officer Jones contacted the victim and learned that the employee had approached a male subject who was shopping in the store and informed him that he needed a face covering to continue shopping.

“The employee explained that Walmart implemented a policy requiring a face cover of its customers due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated the release. “The male subject became upset about the face covering policy, refused to leave the store, made mention of a gun and then threatened to shoot the employee in the head.”

The male subject, later identified as Curtis William Kaehler, fled the location. The investigating officer was able to obtain the plate number of the vehicle and retrieved a photo of the registered owner.

Officials said the officer conducted a photo-line up with the victim employee and the victim positively identified the registered owner of the vehicle as the suspect who threatened to shoot him.

Approximately 1 hour after the crime, officer Jones located Curtis Kaehler at his residence in the 400 block of Hutchinson Street and placed him under arrest.

Kaehler was booked at the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Barstow Jail for PC 422(a) – Criminal Threats.

According to public jail records, Kaehler is no longer in custody and was released on bail on the same day of his arrest.

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Hugo Valdez

Hugo Valdez has been providing news coverage for Victor Valley News Group since 2012, and has been a resident of Victorville for over 30 years. He enjoys utilizing the platform to create a more informed and connected community. Hugo can be reached by email at
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