The sheriff’s department said Monday that during an interrogation with investigators, the man “expressed frustration with the coronavirus and having people tell him what he can and cannot do.”
The man told investigators wearing the hood was not intended to be a racial statement.
“It was a mask and it was stupid,” he said, according to the news release.
After a review from the US Attorney’s Office and the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, “it was determined there was insufficient evidence to charge the man who wore the Ku Klux Klan hood inside the store,” the sheriff’s department said.
The man was not identified in the news release.
‘Sad reminder of intolerance’
In a statement to CNN, Vons said employees had asked the customer to remove the hood, but the customer ignored the requests until they made it to the checkout area.
“This was a disturbing incident for our associates and customers, and we are reviewing with our team how to best handle such inappropriate situations in the future,” Vons said in the statement.
Local leaders and city officials expressed outrage when the incident occurred.
“Santee, its leaders, and I will not tolerate such behavior,” Minto said. “Santee and its citizens are great, and this particular individual’s actions are not representative of us as a people and a wonderful city.”