Police say Florida man spit at boy who refused to remove his mask

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Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — A Florida man has been charged with battery after he allegedly told a child to take off his mask at a restaurant, got into the child’s face and told him “you now have coronavirus.”

Treasure Island police said 47-year-old Jason Copenhaver, of Redington Shores, was charged with simple battery and disorderly conduct.

According to an arrest affidavit, Copenhaver was at Ricky T’s Bar & Grille when he walked over to the child and asked if he was wearing a face mask. When the child said yes, Copenhaver told him to take it off and shake his hand.

When the child refused, Copenhaver allegedly grabbed the child’s hand and said, “You now have coronavirus,” the affidavit said.

The child told police Copenhaver was so close to him that saliva particles from Copenhaver’s mouth landed on his face.

The child’s age was not listed in the arrest affidavit.

Copenhaver told police he is unsure if he has coronavirus and has never been tested.

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