An Iowa man who got into a fight over wearing his face mask has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
The altercation took place at the Vision 4 Less eyewear store in Des Moines back in November 2020. While shopping around, 42-year-old Shane Michael was asked by a customer in the store to pull his mask up, as it hung below his nose. Michael grew agitated by the request, and a fight soon ensued in the parking lot of the store. Michael apparently hit the man in the groin area with his knee multiple times, and jabbed him in his eye, according to the Iowa Capital Dispatch. The other man reportedly retaliated by biting Michael in the arm, which led to Michael taking his mask off and spitting on him.
“If I have it, you have it!” Michael reportedly said, referencing COVID-19. Witnesses told police that Michael seemed to be the aggressor and that he had followed the other man out of the store.
Michael’s father told the Dispatch that his son was right to not pull his mask above his nose and said he let it hang because of his asthma. He outwardly defended his behavior, saying he acted in self-defense. On April 1st, Michael was convicted on a felony county of willful injury causing serious injury, according to the court records. He was finally sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison. Michael’s attorney has already filed a motion for a new trial, in the hopes that his sentence can be lessened.