Police have identified the suspect as 53-year-old James Henry Schulz, who is believed to be a “transient.” Authorities compared surveillance footage of the incident to previous booking photos of Schulz that were on file.
Schulz is described as a bearded White male with a red plaid long-sleeve shirt and green backpack. He was seen fleeing the scene on a bicycle with a yellow flag.
According to police, the incident began at around 8 p.m., when Schulz refused to cooperate with a store policy to wear a face mask.
“The male belligerently refused and said [the restaurant] did not want to serve him because he was homeless and began yelling that he would be contacting his attorney as he was filming with his cellphone,” Police Chief Gary Ratliff said during a Thursday afternoon press conference.
Schulz appeared to walk towards the door as if to leave. When the manager turned his back, Schulz ran up behind him, tackled him, and began to stab him with what appeared to be a pocketknife. The manager was stabbed three times in the arm and upper torso. Employees intervened to defend their coworker and Schulz fled the scene.
Employees at the restaurant and witnesses recognized Schulz as being homeless and living in the area.
Officers searched the area around the scene with a K-9 unit. While Schulz was not located, several pieces of evidence were recovered, including his backpack, the bike used to flee the scene and his cell phone. The knife used in the incident has not been found.
The injured employee was transported to a nearby hospital and has since been treated and released. According to Ratliff, the employee’s stab wounds did not penetrate any major organs.
Ratliff noted the department has not seen similar incidents related to mask policies of businesses in the area. However, he urged individuals to respect the opinions and the policies that have been put in place by businesses.
“If we have a situation that we get a call in reference to somebody that is failing to abide by the policy of their business, then we will respond to the call,” Ratliffe said. “If they refuse to leave, they will be arrested for criminal trespass. And there’s no reason to let it get to that point. You can refuse to do business at those locations or whatever it is you choose to do, but there’s no reason to result to aggressive behavior like this.”
Upon confirmation of Schulz’s identity, League City detectives contaced the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office, who has authorized an arrest warrant on the charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with a $40,000 bond.
Police are asking anyone with information on Schulz’s whereabouts to please contact police at 281-332-2566.