An Ohio woman was tased and arrested for refusing to leave a middle school football game after police say she refused multiple requests to comply with school policy to wear a mask while watching the game.
Alecia Kitts was in the stands watching her son’s football game in Logan, Ohio, on Wednesday when police say a school resource officer asked her to wear a mask. She refused, saying she had asthma. Logan police said Officer Chris Smith told her that if she didn’t put her mask on, she would be asked to leave.In a news conference yesterday, Gov.
Mike DeWine said Kitts was told that if she had asthma, she could get a face shield and come back for the game.”The female continually refused his request and Officer Smith advised her that if she refused to leave, she would be cited for trespassing and escorted off the property,” the Logan Police Department said in a statement on Facebook.
“After several attempts to get her to leave, Officer Smith advised her she was under arrest for criminal trespassing and asked her to place her hands behind her back multiple times and she refused.”Video from the incident shows Kitts shouting, “Get off of me! You’re not arresting me for nothing. I ain’t doing nothing wrong! What the f— is wrong with you, people?”The video did not capture the initial confrontation.Police say Smith tried to place her hand behind her back and Kitts resisted.
“Officer Smith advised her to comply or he would deploy his Taser if she did not quit resisting. She continued to resist, and Officer Smith placed his Taser on her shoulder area and drive stunned her once,” police said.
Marietta City Schools Superintendent Will Hampton told CNN that not wearing a mask is a violation of the guidelines issued by the governor and the Ohio High School Athletic Association to every district in Ohio.””It is critically important to understand that if we want to continue to enjoy athletics, these are the rules that we must follow. If spectators chose not to follow the orders of the governor and the OHSAA, we could lose the opportunity to participate in athletic competition for our student athletes, and our ability as spectators to cheer them on,
” Hampton said in a statement.Police say that Kitts was not arrested for failing to wear a mask, but was asked to leave the property for violating school policy and was then trespassing, once she refused to leave.Kitts’ attorney, Maurice Thompson, told CNN in an email that she “has injuries, including a broken arm, apparently.”He did not respond to CNN’s calls to further explain her injuries.In his email, her attorney wrote, she committed no crime and thus committed no “criminal trespass.””The Logan School District totally misapplied the law, and misapplied it haphazardly and violently,” he wrote.”Ms. Kitts explained to the policy officer and administrators that she has asthma, but they ignored her,” Thompson wrote. “Their position was that un-masked asthmatic must leave the stadium, with is not consistent with any directive or other law.”CNN examined the statewide policy and did find that there is a medical exception that expressly covers those who have “respiratory conditions that restrict breathing.”Police say that after county medical services arrived, Kitts refused treatment. She was released at the scene.
The Logan Police Department posted on Facebook that the arrest “is an unfortunate incident for everyone involved” and remains under investigation.Police say additional charges are pending on Kitts and another female subject involved in the incident.