'You Now Have Coronavirus,' Florida Man Tells Boy, Police Say


A 47-year-old Florida man has been arrested on charges of simple battery and disorderly conduct after he allegedly grabbed a child wearing a mask at a restaurant, getting in the child's face and telling him, "You now have coronavirus."

Treasure Island Police say Jason Andrew Copenhaver, of Redington Shores, approached the child who was sitting at a table while wearing a mask. Copenhaver allegedly asked the boy if he was wearing a mask and the boy responded in the affirmative. Copenhaver told the child to take it off, and the child refused. Police say, that's when Copenhaver grabbed the boy's hand tightly, got close to his face, and then told the child he now had the virus.

“Victim stated that (Copenhaver) was in such close proximity that spit particles from (Copenhaver’s) mouth landed in his face,” officers wrote in their arrest report.

The boy's age was not released by police.

Copenhaver then walked to a bar area where staff members asked him to sit down because he appeared drunk and wasn't wearing shoes. At one point, Copenhaver attempted to assault a staff member. He was then removed from the bar and walked outside where staff members took him to the ground and held him until police arrived.

Police say Copenhaver informed them that he didn't actually know if he had the virus and that he has never been tested.

He was booked into the Pinellas County Jail and released after posting $650 bail, court records show.

Photo: Pinellas County Sheriff's Department

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