MIAMI — A boy was sitting inside a Gulf Coast restaurant when a man walked up to him and asked if he was wearing a face mask.
The boy said yes.
The man then told the boy to take it off and shake his hand. The boy refused. So the man grabbed his hand, held it tightly, closed in on his face and said, “You now have the coronavirus.”
The man was so close to the boy’s face “spit particles from the defendant’s mouth landed in his face,” a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office arrest report says.
Deputies charged Jason Andrew Copenhaver, 47, with disorderly conduct and simple battery for the incident at Ricky T’s Bar and Grille in Redington Shores on Sunday evening.
Copenhaver told detectives he did not know whether or not he had COVID-19 and said he has never been tested.
The arrest report did not say how old the boy was, other than referring to him as a minor, or who he was sitting with at the restaurant.
Copenhaver is also accused of threatening a restaurant staffer by trying to hit him twice when he walked over to the bar area, sans shoes and appearing “intoxicated,” the arrest report read. Staffers physically escorted Copenhaver outside and held him on the ground until deputies arrived.
Copenhaver was jailed and released after paying $650 bond.
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