After repeatedly being asked to wear a mask inside an Ace Hardware store, a Florida Man allegedly coughed directly in the face of an employee before backhanding the victim and then striking a customer in the face, cops charge.
Russell Wood, 51, was arrested for battery following a confrontation yesterday afternoon at store in Largo, a city in the Tampa Bay area. The 6’ 6”, 200-pound Wood was booked into the Pinellas County jail on the misdemeanor count. A judge this morning set his bond at $250.
Police charge that Wood (seen at right) was asked by employees to leave the hardware store since he “refused to wear a mask.” While being asked to vacate the business, Wood “turned around and coughed directly in the face” of a male employee, according to an arrest affidavit.
Wood then “took a small step backward and slapped the victim with the backside of his hand,” cops say. While subsequently “being ushered out of the business,” Wood “struck a customer in the face as well.” Police allege that Wood also threatened to burn down the hardware store.
Wood fled the scene, but was quickly apprehended by Largo Police Department officers. “The defendant advised he was defending himself and admitted to striking the victim,” a patrolman reported.
Wood’s rap sheet includes convictions for drunk driving (twice), violating probation, and habitually driving with a suspended or revoked license.