Iowa Man Gets 10 Years After Fight Over Face Mask

Shane Michael assaulted man who asked him to raise his mask
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2021 1:22 PM CDT
Iowa Man Sentenced to 10 Years After Fight Over Mask
Shane Michael.   (Polk County Sheriff's Office)

An Iowa man who was asked to wear his mask properly by a fellow customer in an eyewear store last year responded by following the man out to the parking lot and assaulting him, prosecutors say. Shane Michael, 42, has received a mandatory 10-year prison sentence after being convicted of "causing serious injury," BuzzFeed reports. According to a police report on the Nov. 11 incident in Des Moines, Michael "exchanged words" with the victim after he asked Michael to raise his mask so it covered his nose, reports the Des Moines Register. Police say Michael confronted the man in the parking lot, took him to the ground, kneed him in the genitals, and jabbed his left eye.

According to the police report, the victim bit Michael in an attempt to get him to release him. Police say the victim told them Michael lowered his mask, spit and coughed on him, and told him, "If I have it, you have it." Witnesses, including a store employee, told police that Michael was definitely the aggressor. Michael rejected a plea deal in February that would have resulted in two years of probation, the Iowa Capital Dispatch reports. A jury found him guilty in April. Michael's father told the Dispatch that Michael has asthma "and so he’s not going to cover his nose and mouth because he can’t breathe." He said Michael rejected the plea deal because he felt he had been acting in self-defense. (Two airline passengers who refused to mask up have been fined for assaulting flight attendants.)

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