In another outrageous act of violence related to taking necessary measures for avoiding spread of COVID-19, a man, 70 years old, was left battered for the simple crime of asking a younger man to maintain social distancing and wear a mask. The incident occurred in Orlando, Florida at a gas station.
The assailant has been identified as Rovester Ingram, 24 years old. The police have arrested him and leveled charges of aggravated battery against a person above the age of 65. The bail bond value has been set at $30,000. The accused has been lodged in Orange County Jail.
As per the report of the incident noted by police, the altercation started when the victim, who was in the store of a Citgo gas station asked Ingram to stand apart from him as the latter was not wearing a mask. This seems to have angered the young man so much that he followed the septuagenarian when he left the store and started punching him on the face.
The attacked man tried to get back inside the store to avoid further blows. But Ingram followed him into the store and went on to continue his assault there as well. He went to the extreme act of dragging the old man by his hair from the store to the outside premises of the gas station and continued hitting him with punches. Before he left, the assailant kicked his victim on the head and even spat on him.
When the police arrived on the scene, they found the man bleeding and got him to a medical facility. It turned out that the brutal assault by Ingram had caused fractures in his body. He is receiving treatment at a hospital.
Pandemic of violence
This incident is not an isolated event. The country has witnessed several other instances of offended people turning violent simply because they have been asked by someone to follow the guidelines to avoid spread of Coronavirus. The issue has even gained a political manifestation with some groups looking at governmental mandate to wear masks as an encroachment on their liberties.
In Florida, the Mayor of Orange County has made wearing of masks in public places compulsory. However, the Governor of Florida has decided to stay away from such action.