Man charged with wearing mask in public

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Frank DeLoache
KANNAPOLIS ó Employees at KFC grew suspicious of two people standing in their parking lot Tuesday night.
They looked like they were wearing masks.
A call to 911 brought two Kannapolis police officers to the restaurant at 267 N. Cannon Blvd. about 10:20 Tuesday night.
They found a 26-year-old man wearing a jacket with his hood up, latex gloves and a black bandanna pulled up to cover everything below his eyes.
“Just like you’d see in the old westerns,” Lt. Tony Clark said Thursday.
Officers Joseph Yurco and Eric Shaver ordered the man to get on the ground, and when the man refused their requests, they grabbed him and forced him to the pavement.
After handcuffing the man, Shaver and his police dog, Asta, tried to find any scent indicating where a second person might have gone. Asta didn’t find a scent, according to the officers’ later report.
After talking to KFC employees, the officers took the man back to the Police Department.
Lt. Clark said the man had no good explanation for covering his head, face and hands in early September other than “he thought he looked cool.”
That didn’t convince the officers, who thought he was about to rob the restaurant, Clark said.
They charged Matthew Dean Maultsby, 26, of 522 Gibson St., with wearing a mask in a public place to conceal his identity and resisting an officer. Both are misdemeanor charges, and Clark said he’s seen the mask charge used “only a couple of times in my career.”
Maultsby remained in the Cabarrus County Jail Thursday under $1,000 bond.
According to the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Web site, Maultsby has become well known to area law enforcement officers since 2004. He’s faced numerous charges including three charges of common law robbery ó once in Gastonia and twice in Concord, including January of this year.
KFC employees were not available for comment Thursday. The night manager on duty at the time of the incident “was pretty shook up” and hasn’t returned to work, a source said.