A heated anti-mask demonstration took place outside the grocery store as people tried to enter.
Officers were called to the shopping center -- they say it wasn't to enforce any mask ordinance but to make sure things remained peaceful
"It does become a violation of the law if they are harassing customers, if they are intimidating customers and I don't believe that is what Mr. Martin and his group want to do," says Fresno Police Chief Paco Balderrama.
Mr. Martin is Ben Martin -- a local real estate agent who claims wearing a mask violates federal law
According to investigators, this was not the first store Martin's group has protested against.
Sprouts officials say masks are required to enter the store -- and pressed trespassing charges against him after they say he went inside the store and refused to leave
"Mr. Martin was detained, he was temporarily arrested," Balderrama said.
Martin was released but officers documented the incident.
This, however, was not Martin's first run-in with the law -- court records show he was accused of domestic violence by his then-girlfriend in June of 2017.
Later that year, another arrest warrant was issued for Martin when his estranged wife said he threatened to and then damaged her car.
Those charges were eventually dropped after making a felony plea agreement on the domestic violence charge.
Martin is currently a free man and remains on informal probation
Meantime -- Chief Balderrama says his department will continue to protect those individuals exercising their constitutional right, however, these types of protests are pulling officers away from their normal duties.
"During a time when I really want to focus on violent crime and reducing shootings and homicides, this is something we have to deal with on a weekly basis, so that's unfortunate," Balderrama said.
The city later released a list of guidelines for business owners for dealing with anti-mask protesters: