A Florida man is facing charges after he allegedly spat on a child wearing a mask in a restaurant on Sunday and told him, “You now have coronavirus,” police said.
Police arrested Jason Copenhaver, 47, and charged him with battery and disorderly conduct in connection with the incident, WTVT reported.
Both misdemeanor charges come after he allegedly spat on a child at Ricky T’s restaurant in Treasure Island, Florida.
Police say the man was intoxicated when he asked the child to take off his mask and shake his hand. The boy reportedly turned him down.
In response, Copenhaver allegedly grabbed the boy, got in his face, spat on him, and then told him, “You now have the coronavirus.”
Police said Copenhaver entered the bar area after an employee asked him to sit down. Copenhaver, who was not wearing shoes, threatened the worker and “attempted to strike him twice,” according to the arrest affidavit.
The same employee physically controlled Copenhaver, took him outside the restaurant, and held him to the ground until the police arrived, police said.
Police said Copenhaver told them he does not know if he ever had the virus and had never been tested for it.
The Associated Press reported that Copenhaver was freed after posting $650 bail.
Florida has become a coronavirus hot spot over the past few weeks, although cases have been trending downwards. According to state health data, Florida has recorded more than half a million coronavirus cases and more than 7,600 fatalities.