While the debate over the usefulness of face masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19 rages on in United States of America (USA), a disturbing incident involving a child has come to notice from Florida. In Treasure Island, a 47-year old man approached a boy and assaulted him verbally as well as physically.

Jason Copenhaver hails from Redington Shores. On Sunday, he was at a restaurant called Ricky T's Bar and Grille in the evening. Then, at one point, he went up to a child and asked him whether he is wearing a face mask. When the boy, whose age is unknown, replied in the affirmative, he was asked by Copenhaver to take it off.

Jason Copenhaver
Jason Copenhaver faces charges of battery and bad conduct Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

Then, according to the police report, the man asked his victim whether he would shake hands with him. When the young boy refused to have a handshake, Copenhaver grabbed his arm and, getting close to his face, said, "You now have coronavirus."

The child told the police that the accused put his face so close to his own that "spit particles from (Copenhaver's) mouth landed in his face," according to a report published in a local news outlet. The 47-year old now faces charges of battery and disorderly conduct.

Face Masks
The boy was wearing face mask Pixabay

The disorderly conduct that Copenhaver indulged in didn't end with the mistreatment of the child. After returning to the bar, he tried to assault one of the employees. This employee, after avoiding the blows, decided to act aggressively and forcibly took the troublemaker outside the bar. He then kept him physically restrained on the ground until the arrival of police.

The arrest affidavit of police states that the accused was in a drunk state during the incident. He was also barefoot. After his arrest, he told the cops that he is unaware of whether he has been infected by Coronavirus and hasn't undergone any tests for it. Later, he was released on bail by the police with a bond of $650.

As of now, it is not clear whether this man is mentally disturbed or was only carried away to act in a strange manner due to his intoxicated condition.