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A Man Was Sentenced To 10 Years In Prison After Getting Into A Fight Over His Face Mask

"If I have it, you have it!" Shane Michael reportedly said after spitting on a man during a violent fight outside an eyewear store.

Posted on June 13, 2021, at 3:09 p.m. ET

Mugshot of Shane Michael
Courtesy Polk County Sheriff's Office

An Iowa man who got into a physical fight over his face mask was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the attack.

The fight happened at an eyewear store in Des Moines on Nov. 11 after a man in the store asked 42-year-old Shane Michael to fix his mask as it hung just below his nose, the Iowa Capital Dispatch reported.

The exchange prompted a confrontation in the parking lot of the shop, where the two men began to fight on the ground.

Michael hit the other man in the groin with his knee several times and jabbed him in his left eye, the Dispatch reported. The other man reportedly bit Michael on the arm before Michael took off his mask and spat on him.

"If I have it, you have it!" he reportedly said, referring to COVID-19.

Witnesses told police Michael appeared to have been the aggressor during the violent confrontation in the middle of the pandemic, according to the Des Moines Register. He was seen following the other man out of the store to confront him.

Michael's father told the Iowa Capital Dispatch his son refused to cover his nose with his mask because he has asthma. He also defended Michael's actions, saying he acted in self-defense.

Michael was convicted April 1 of a felony count of willful injury causing serious injury, according to court records.

He was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison.

According to the Dispatch, Michael's attorney has filed a motion for a new trial.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.