A stranger approached a child in a restaurant, told him to remove his mask, spat on him and said ‘You now have coronavirus,’ police say. Jason Copenhaver, 47, allegedly attacked the child after stumbling up to his table drunk at Ricky T’s restaurant in Treasure Island, Florida, on Sunday.

He asked the boy to remove his mask, only for the youngster to refuse, an affidavit says. Copenhaver is then said to have asked if he could shake the boy’s hand. When the child – whose age was no disclosed – refused, Copenhaver reportedly grabbed his arm anyway.

Copenhaver is said to have gotten close enough to the boys face that flecks of his saliva landed on the youngster, then told him ‘You now have coronavirus.’ The suspect, who was not wearing shoes at the time, then tried to slap a bar worker twice, Fox13 reported.



That worker managed to restrain him, brought him outside and held Copenhaver to the ground until police arrived to arrest him. Copenhaver has now been arrested on charges of simple battery and disorderly conduct.


Police say it is unclear if he had the virus at the time of the spitting incident, and say he has never been tested for Covid-19. They have yet to provide an update on whether the boy involved has since been tested for coronavirus.

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