*An Iowa man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after fighting for refusing to wear his face mask in public.
The fight broke out in November 2020 when 42-year-old Shane Michael was asked by a customer inside the Vision 4 Less to pull his mask up, as it hung below his nose, Complex reports. Michael was triggered by the request, and witnesses told police that he followed the other man out of the store and started a fight.
Here’s more from Complex:
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.
Michael’s father defended his son to the Dispatch and said he let his face mask hang because he has asthma, “and so he’s not going to cover his nose and mouth because he can’t breathe. And there was no mask mandate in place. It was just a request by Vision 4 Less that people wear a mask, and he was.”
He said his son acted in self-defense.
According to the report, Michael was convicted on a felony count of willfully causing serious injury. He was sentenced last week to 10 years in prison. His father said the punishment is not fair. Do you agree?
“It’s like (Dinning) got a black eye in a bar fight, and now my son is getting 10 years in prison,” he said.
Michael’s wife noted that they have six grown children and she’s unsure how she’s going to support herself with her husband in prison.
“He’s my rock, he’s my protector,” she said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do without him. I’m lost without him.”
Michael’s attorney hopes to get his sentence reduced via a new trial.