Man Allegedly Hit 63-Year-Old With Car Amid Dispute Over Face Masks, Police Say

A Rhode Island man was accused of hitting a 63-year-old with a car after the pair had an argument over face masks, according to police.

Ralph Buontempo, 30, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon after he allegedly got into his car and drove in reverse to knock down William Beauchene, 63, in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

Authorities arrested both men following the July 9 incident and charged them with disorderly conduct. They added the additional charge to Buontempo after looking at video footage and speaking to a witness, according to The Boston Globe.

Police said that witnesses told them Beauchene confronted Buontempo for not wearing a face mask at a local Seasons Market, which led to an argument outside of the store entrance, according to a report by NBC 10 News.

The pair eventually came face to face and started shoving each other, police said, when Buontempo allegedly slapped a cup of coffee out of Beauchene's hand. Buontempo then got into his car as Beauchene stepped behind the vehicle.

"Buontempo then opened his driver's side door as Beauchene stepped out from behind the vehicle...[Buontempo] accelerated in reverse with his door open" and hit Beauchene, police said.

"Our initial thought was Beauchene grabbed the guy's door, but that's not the case," Philip Gould, the Lincoln Police captain, told The Boston Globe, adding that police are also submitting a report to the state Health Department against Buontempo for not wearing a face covering, as masks are mandatory in Rhode Island

Newsweek reached out to the Lincoln Police Department for comment, but did not receive a response back in time for publication.

The Farrelly brothers, two Hollywood screenwriters and directors, posted a picture of Beauchene on Twitter following the July 9 incident. Peter and Bobby Farrelly directed the 1996 film Kingpin, in which Beauchene made an appearance.

Here's a picture of my friend Bill Beauchene who got attacked and then run over today after asking a 20-something-year-old guy standing next to him in a convenience store why he wasn't wearing a mask. 1/2 P pic.twitter.com/nRGjh5Y3yH

— Farrelly Brothers (@farrellybros) July 9, 2020

"Here's a picture of my friend Bill Beauchene who got attacked and then run over today after asking a 20-something-year-old guy standing next to him in a convenience store why he wasn't wearing a mask," the Farrelly brothers stated.

They also posted a statement by Beauchene, who said Buontempo "went off on him" after he asked the 30-year-old "where is your mask?"

"I just stood there while he kept chest bumping me. He whacked my full coffee out of my hand and it went all over a guy standing right next to us. He told me if he ever saw me off the property [he] was going to cut my throat, so I went behind his car and took a picture of his license plate," Beauchene said in the statement, adding that Buontempo hit him "really hard" with the car after he stepped from behind the vehicle.

Face Mask
A face mask sits on the ground. A Lincoln,Rhode Island man was charged with assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly hitting a 63-year-old with his car. Gary Hershorn/Getty