The woman, who has been identified as Alicia Kitts, was watching an eighth-grade football game in a near-empty outdoor school sports setting when she was filmed being approached by a policeman and forcibly removed from the venue in a disturbing altercation lasting several minutes.
She is thought to have kept her mask in her pocket, which people on school property are mandated to wear in Ohio under state and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rules, because she had asthma.
As the man grabbed her and attempted to lead her away from the bench she was watching the game from, Kitts could be heard shouting: “Get off of me.
“What the f*ck is wrong with you? You’re not arresting me for nothing – I am doing nothing wrong. Stop it. This is bullsh*t.”
She then screamed as she was tasered for resisting the man’s attempts to extract her from her seat.
“I don’t think he can arrest her for not wearing a mask,” said a concerned spectator from a higher seat, where the troubling skirmish was filmed from.
“This is not a warning. This is over a mask. That’s bullsh*t. You can’t arrest somebody for not wearing a mask.”
The Logan Police Department asserted that Kitts had not been arrested for failing to don a mask, but rather for criminal trespassing after failing to leave the premises when asked to.
She was reportedly released at the scene, with the taser said to have been used because Kitts resisted arrest.
Kitts could face additional charges alongside a friend who sat next to her and could also be seen and heard protesting her innocence.
The stunned viewer pointed out the apparent hypocrisy of the man for seeming to not follow the very rules that Kitts appeared to have been punished for overlooking.
“I don’t know if he’s a real officer,” they said, calling another officer who arrived on the scene “another rent-a-cop”.
“They’re arresting her for not wearing a mask when he ain’t even got one on.”
Organized sports were allowed to return in the state earlier this summer under the condition that masks were worn by crowds, but the clip left many viewers worried and angry as tens of thousands of people watched the ejection.
“What if this woman has a condition where she can’t wear a mask?” asked one. “Asthma, COPD, PTSD…curious how those situations are handled.”
“What’s tragic is that she was following social distancing as far as I can tell and they still took this action,” added another, while some encouraged Kitts to sue and one commenter succinctly concluded: “This mask bullsh*t has gone too far.”
The majority of reactions on Twitter offered little sympathy to Kitts, with several accounts telling her to “just wear the damn mask”.
“Anti-maskers are scientifically illiterate,” argued one. “They’re contributing to the dumbing-down of America and the death of expertise.
“They must be held accountable for endangering the public health.”