COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio woman who refused to wear a mask at a Logan-Hocking School District middle school football game was tased and arrested Wednesday evening for trespassing, authorities said.
Logan-Hocking Superintendent Monte Bainter said the incident, which occurred at Logan High School, began when the woman was asked to leave for violating the school and the state’s rules.
“An attendee was asked to comply with the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s and the athletic facility’s policies,” Logan-Hocking superintendent Monte Bainter said. “The attendee refused to do so and consequently was asked to leave by the attending law enforcement officer."
A school resource officer, Chris Smith, observed the woman, Alecia Kitts, sitting in the stands without a mask, Logan police said. He approached her to tell her she needed to put a mask on, as is required by the school's policy.
According to police, she responded that she had asthma and would not wear a mask. Smith warned her she would be cited for trespassing and escorted off the property if she refused to comply.
Kitts was asked to leave the stadium when she continued to refuse to wear a mask, police said. She declined to leave.
Eventually, Smith told her she was under arrest for criminal trespassing and asked her to put her hands behind her back, police said. Again, she refused to comply.
A video recorded by a spectator shows Kitts refusing to be handcuffed while Smith struggled to detain her. Prior to the arrest, police said Smith warned her repeatedly she would be tased if she did not allow herself to be handcuffed.
As she continued to resist, Smith stunned her in the shoulder with his taser, police said. In the video, Kitts did not appear to lose consciousness or fall to the ground, but after deploying his taser Smith was then able to fasten handcuffs around her wrists.
Police stressed that Kitts was arrested for trespassing, not for refusing to wear a mask.
“It is important to note, the female was not arrested for failing to wear a mask. She was asked to leave the premises for continually violating school policy. Once she refused to leave the premises, she was advised she was under arrest for criminal trespassing, she resisted the arrest, which led to the use of force,” police said. “This is an unfortunate incident for everyone involved.”
Kitts was charged with criminal trespassing and released at the scene, police said. Additional charges are pending for her and another woman involved in the incident, police said.