A California man who was recently seen in footage wearing a t-shirt that reads “Your mask makes you look stupid” while yelling nonsensically is alleged to have harassed masked children, including by coughing on them.
While the footage that initially achieved traction after popping up on Reddit shows the man shouting out variations of typical anti-masker comments while walking through a parking lot, parents in the La Crescenta area—per a report from SFGate—say the same man has actually been harassing “elementary and middle school children” for months.
As part of the aforementioned confrontation that was partially caught on a parent’s video, per KTLA, the man “spit on” some of the children. Speaking more generally about the man’s alleged harassment of children, one concerned parent said that he has also been coughing in children’s faces.
“They were obviously getting scared,” the parent, per a separate CNN report, said on Monday as a group of parents urged the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station to take these incidents seriously. “He was getting three to five inches away and coughing in their faces.”
“Crescenta Valley Station is aware of a video circulating on social media regarding a dispute between an anti-mask adult and others over the masking of children,” the department said in a statement shared on Monday. “The incident appears to have occurred off school grounds sometime last week. Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station takes all allegations seriously and will be conducting a thorough investigation.”
Of course, behavior of this variety has unfortunately persisted throughout the pandemic, even as we enter our third year of the continually challenging COVID-19 era. Earlier this month, the White House announced that it would distribute approximately 400 million free N95 masks amid ongoing concerns about the Omicron variant.