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Burnaby couple confronted by maskless neighbour over COVID-19 rule

Last Updated Nov 25, 2020 at 1:41 pm PDT

A Burnaby couple is scared in their own apartment after a heated confrontation with a neighbour over mask wearing and elevator sharing. (Courtesy Stephanie Stewart)

A Burnaby couple doesn't feel safe in their apartment building after an expletive-fuelled confrontation with a neighbour

Video taken by the couple shows the heated exchange that started over mask-wearing and elevator sharing

The couple called the police and stata, but say not much has happened so far

Content warning: A video in this article contains explicit language. 

BURNABY (NEWS 1130) — Stephanie Stewart and her husband are scared to walk through their Burnaby apartment building after a confrontation with a neighbour over mask wearing and elevator sharing during the pandemic.

Video taken by the couple shows a man yelling and threatening the pair in the apartment’s parkade.

Stewart says the Saturday confrontation came a day after the man tried to join her and her husband on the elevator, despite the building having a one-family-per-elevator rule. She says her husband asked the man to wait for the next elevator since he wasn’t wearing a mask.

“So he left the elevator and he swore under his breath,” she adds.

Then, on Saturday, the couple and the man met again in the building’s parkade, which is when the explosive, expletive-fuelled confrontation happened.

Stewart says they were returning from errands when the man spotted them. She says she and her husband waited for a few minutes in the car when something felt strange.

They got out and started recording the video.

As they neared the building’s elevator the man approached, sandwiching Stewart in between himself and her husband.

“He was saying, ‘I will get you big time, I will hurt you forever,'” she tells NEWS 1130.

“He followed us until we got inside the elevator when we felt like we were trapped. At this point, I just really wanted us to get out of the situation.”

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Even while recording and threatening to call the police, she says the man was still pushing to get into the elevator.

“He would stick his hand so the elevator doors would open,” she says.

At one point, the man yelled, “I’m going to smack your f***ing face,” while calling the couple corrupt. He later says, “I’m going to get you once for good.”

“He was saying, ‘I will get you big time, I will hurt you forever,’ ” Stewart says.

“We don’t feel very safe even in our own home,” she says. “We’re still trying to figure out what to do.”

The couple called police and contacted their strata, but say they haven’t heard much back since.

Burnaby RCMP has confirmed to NEWS 1130 the incident is being investigated.

Masks have been made mandatory in indoor public places, but, according to the province, work is still being done to sort out enforcement requirements in common areas of apartment buildings, condos, and workplaces. Some buildings have been urging people to wear masks in high-traffic areas.