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Police: Florida man, 47, spit at boy who refused to remove his mask inside a restaurant

An intoxicated 47-year-old man wandered into a Florida restaurant and spat in the face of a young boy when the victim refused to take off his mask, telling him; ‘You now have coronavirus,’ it has been alleged.

Jason Copenhaver was arrested by police in Treasure Island after confronting the child inside Ricky T’s Bar and Grille Restaurant on Sunday, according to police.

Copenhaver, who was allegedly drunk and barefoot, approached the child’s table on Sunday and asked the boy if he was wearing a mask, according to Treasure Island police. 

Authorities did not release the boy’s age.

Police said the 47-year-old then told the child to take it off. 

He then grabbed the boy’s hand tightly and put his face next to the child’s, telling the boy he now had the coronavirus, according to police reports.

‘Victim stated that (Copenhaver) was in such close proximity that spit particles from (Copenhaver’s) mouth landed in his face,’ an officer wrote in the police report.

Restaurant workers asked Copenhaver to sit down, saying he appeared drunk and wasn’t wearing shoes. 

The police report said he also tried to hit an employee.

One of the workers at the restaurant took Copenhaver outside and held onto him until police arrived, according to WTVT-TV. 

News outlets reported that he was charged with simple battery and disorderly conduct. 

He was freed after posting $650 bail. 

It was not immediately clear whether Copenhaver had an attorney who could comment on the charges.

Police said Copenhaver told them he didn’t know if he had coronavirus and has never been tested.

Florida this week became the second state in the country to surpass 500,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus.

State health officials have also reported record highs of more than 600 hospitalizations per day in recent weeks.

Though the state’s new cases were below 10,000 for the 11th day in a row, Florida officials reported an additional 5,409 cases on Wednesday to push the statewide total past 500,000.

Florida now has 502,739 infections, just second to California, which has more than 519,000 cases.

According to the Florida Department of Health, 225 new deaths were reported, bringing the total to 7,627. Florida’s weekly death average is now 185 people per day, the largest rate on record.

According to the Florida Department of Health, 225 new deaths were reported, bringing the total to 7,627. 

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