Alicia Keats was in the stands watching her son’s soccer match in Logan, Ohio, on Wednesday when police said a school resource officer had asked her to wear a mask. She refused, saying she had asthma. Logan Police said Officer Chris Smith told her that if she did not put on her mask, she would be told to leave.
At a press conference yesterday, Governor Mike Dewan said that Keats was told that if she had asthma, she could get a face shield and return for the match.
After several attempts to get her to leave, Officer Smith advised her that she was under arrest for criminal trespassing and asked her to place her hands behind her back several times and she refused.
A video clip from the accident shows Keats shouting, “Get away from me! You’re not arresting me for nothing. I’m not doing anything wrong! What’s wrong with you, people?”
The video did not feature the first confrontation.
Police say Smith tried to put her hand behind her back and Keats fought back.
Police said, “Officer Smith advised her to comply or else he would deploy a lightning bolt if she did not stop resisting. Officer Smith put his stun car on her shoulder area and stunned her with the car once.”
Will Hampton, principal of Marietta City Schools, told CNN that not wearing the mask violated guidelines issued by the governor and the Ohio High School Athletics Association for each district in Ohio.
“It is crucial to understand that if we want to continue to enjoy athletics, these are the rules that we must follow. If the spectators choose not to follow the orders of the Governor and OHSAA, we may lose the opportunity to participate in competitive sports on our student-athletes and our ability as spectators to encourage them.”
Police say Keats was not arrested for failing to wear the mask, but was asked to leave the property for violating school policy and then trespassed on someone else’s property once she refused to leave.
Keats’s attorney, Maurice Thompson, told CNN in an email that she “had injuries, including a broken arm, apparently”.
He did not respond to calls from CNN to explain her injuries.
Her lawyer wrote in his e-mail that she had not committed any crime and therefore had not committed any “criminal offense.”
He wrote, “The Logan School District has completely misapplied the law, misappropriating it indiscriminately and violently.”
“Ms. Keats made it clear to the policy and administration official that she had asthma, but they ignored her,” Thompson wrote. “Their position is that unmasked asthma patients should leave the stadium in accordance with any directives or any other law,” he added.
CNN checked statewide policy and found that there is a medical exception that explicitly covers those suffering from “respiratory conditions that restrict breathing.”
Police say that after medical services arrived in the county, Keats refused treatment. She was released at the scene.
Police say additional charges are pending against Keats and another subject involved in the incident.
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