Alecia Kitts is the Ohio woman who was tased as she resisted arrest following her refusal to wear a mask at a middle school football game, the Logan Police Department said.
The incident occurred in the Ohio town of Logan, located 50 miles southeast of Columbus, on the night of September 23, police said in a statement. Kitts is a resident of Marietta, Ohio, and was visiting Logan for the game.
A Police Statement Said That Kitts Was Not Arrested Because She Refused to Wear a Mask But Because She Refused to Leave the Scene
The statement from the Logan Police Department said that the woman was defying school district rules and guidelines by not wearing the mask. All spectators at school district games are required to wear face masks. The school resource officer, named as Officer Chris Smith, noticed the woman, named as Alecia Kitts, 34, not wearing a mask. The statement said that Kitts refused to wear a mask because she suffers from asthma. The statement said that Smith attempted to persuade Kitts to put a mask on. When she refused, Smith told Kitts that she would be arrested on trespassing charges if she did not leave. After Kitts refused to leave, Smith made an arrest. The statement said that at this point, another woman became involved and tried to defend Kitts.
As Kitts continued to attempt to evade arrest, Smith warned her that he would deploy his taser, the statement said. The statement reads, “She continued to resist, and Officer Smith placed his Taser on her shoulder area and drive stunned her once. He was able to successfully handcuff the female at that time.” Despite being tased, Kitts continued to try and resist as she was led away by Smith and another officer who arrived on the scene. The statement says that Kitts refused medical treatment at the scene. She was released at the scene after being formally charged with criminal trespassing. The statement says that additional charges are pending and that the other woman involved could face charges in the case.
The statement ends by saying that Kitts was not arrested because of her refusal to wear a mask but for violating school policy by refusing to leave the scene. The taser was deployed because Kitts resisted arrest, the statement said.
The Father of Kitts’ Child Has Called on Supporters to ‘Fill Logan With Protesters’
The Marietta Times named Kitts as the parent of one of the students playing in the game. The website’s report said that junior high school assistant principal Adam Twiss attempted to get Kitts to comply with the officer, noting that Kitts had a mask in her back pocket. The video of the incident that went viral was shot by Skylar Steward who identified Kitts as his child’s mother, according to the Marietta Times. In his Facebook post, Steward called on viewers to “fill Logan with protesters.”
The Marietta Times reports that there were 300 people in attendance at the game on September 23. The report said that Kitts and her child’s grandmother were the only two people who had issues with mask rules. Marietta City Schools Superintendent Will Hampton is quoted in the report as saying that Kitts “made a spectacle of herself” during the game. ABC Columbus reports that Kitts has previous arrests and has faced charges of assault, marijuana possession and disorderly conduct.
The Officer Involved in the Arrest Has Been Placed on Restricted Duty Due to Threats Being Made Against Him
Superintendent Monte Bainter says none of the threats have been founded or credible. They are taking precautions to be safe. No one is allowed inside of the building unless they have a “very specific” reason to be there. pic.twitter.com/ToMjJypPZ1
— Jessi Starkey (@JessiStarkey) September 24, 2020
Logan Schools Superintendent Monte Bainter told CBS Columbus that there have been non-specific threats made against the district since the video spread online. The Columbus Dispatch reports that Officer Smith has been placed on restricted duties after he faced threats.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine addressed the incident during a press conference on September 24. DeWine said, “To my knowledge, there has not been any other case besides this one where we turn and see something that goes viral and looks bad.” He added, “People who are judging this school, this officer … they were trying to follow the guidelines of the Ohio High School Athletic Association with the sole purpose of wanting the kids to play.”
Those Have Trouble Breathing Under a Face Mask Due to Asthma Are Encouraged to Stay Home as Much as Possible
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, those with asthma who have trouble breathing under a face covering are encouraged to stay home as much as possible. Dr. David Stukus is quoted as saying, “For people with very mild asthma or well-controlled asthma, it’s probably not going to be an issue. For people who have very severe disease and have frequent exacerbations, ER visits, hospitalizations, require lots of medications and frequent symptoms, it might cause more issues for those folks.”