Police: Florida man spit in face of boy who refused to remove mask

Restaurant workers claimed Jason Copenhaver appeared drunk and wasn’t wearing shoes

Police: Florida man spit in face of boy who refused to remove mask
Jason Copenhaver is facing misdemeanor charges of simple battery and disorderly conduct after allegedly spitting on a Florida boy who refused to remove his mask in a restaurant. (Source: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office)

TREASURE ISLAND, Fla. (AP) - A Florida man was arrested after confronting a child wearing a mask at a restaurant and spitting in his face when the boy refused to take it off, police said.

Jason Copenhaver approached the child’s table Sunday and asked the boy if he was wearing a mask, according to Treasure Island police. Authorities did not release the boy’s age.

Police said Copenhaver, 47, told the child to take it off. He then grabbed the boy’s hand tightly and put his face next to the child’s, telling the boy he now had the coronavirus, according to police reports.

“Victim stated that (Copenhaver) was in such close proximity that spit particles from (Copenhaver’s) mouth landed in his face,” an officer wrote in a report.

Restaurant workers asked Copenhaver to sit down, saying he appeared drunk and wasn’t wearing shoes. The police report said he also tried to hit an employee.

Copenhaver, who was released after post a $650 bail, is facing misdemeanor charges of simple battery and disorderly conduct.

Police said Copenhaver told them he didn’t know if he had coronavirus and has never been tested.

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