Mask-shaming became escalated to a whole new and potentially dangerous level when a woman allegedly maced a mask-less couple at a San Diego dog park.
“People don’t need to be getting assaulted for not wearing a mask in a public outdoor area,” said Ash O’Brien, one of the alleged victims.
The source of the dispute was apparently, in part, the no-food policy of the dog park of which the couple was unaware.
With their puppy, they sat down at a picnic table to enjoy their lunch when the stranger approached and allegedly began harassing them about food and face masks.
O’Brien told ABC News San Diego that her husband required treatment at a local hospital after the woman unleashed pepper spray into his face after her husband asked the alleged assailant to calm down.
O’Brien declared that the purported attacker belongs in jail.
“If we knew there was a no food policy, we wouldn’t have brought it into the park. The lady who maced him automatically started saying stuff about us not wearing a mask when we were social distancing; there was no one near us.”
The alleged assailant’s license plate was captured on cell phone video as she left the park, so cops should have no problem tracking her down.
She added that the couple complies with mask requirements when they are required.
California has implemented strict law that includes a requirement for facial coverings in outdoor settings when social distancing is impractical.
On Facebook, Ash O’Brien provided a fuller explanation of what occurred on Thursday afternoon from her point of view:
“So this happened today at Dusty Rhodes dog park today in ocean beach. This is my husband getting maced by a random old lady. We had our 3 month old pug with us. We were just sitting down eating lunch and minding our own business. We were not wearing masks because we were eating. You can’t wear a mask and eat at the same time.
“She kept calling us idiots and flipping me off. Then she started saying more stuff and I told her to leave the park and stop harassing us. She then came right up to our table wear we were eating, pointed the mace at me first and got a little on me, and then my husband stepped in and took the entire can.
“Thank God for the bystander that took this video because we are going to the police now to press charges. I am sharing this because people need to watch out for this lady in San Diego. Please share to spread awareness. That is me crying hysterically in the background because my innocent husband just got maced for no reason. We want justice.”
San Diego cops took a police report for misdemeanor battery. To date, they have not made an arrest. If convicted in a court a law on that charge, an assailant could be sentenced to up to a year in jail.
All over the country, disputes have unfortunately broken out in public between pro- and anti-mask advocates. As O’Brien alluded to above, minding one’s own business is usually a better approach.
Most Americans appropriately abide by the live-and-let-live philosophy, although COVID-19 has changed things to some degree.
When prescribed by government or the private sector, reasonable people can agree or disagree about wearing masks indoors, but most people agree that these discussions should remain calm and civil.
Recall that back in March, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who spends a lot of time on TV rather than in the lab or studying data, said that there was no need for Americans to be walking around with masks. Fauci was even caught on camera at the Washington Nationals’ home opener without a mask and socially undistancing in the empty ball park.
Unless someone is already ill, donning a mask while out in the fresh air seems entirely different than wearing one while shopping for groceries or being cooped up in an office.
And obviously people have to remove their face coverings when consuming food. Even liberal California acknowledges that.