The alleged attack occurred in the parking lot outside a Vision 4 Less eyewear store in Des Moines on Nov. 11

By Christine Pelisek
June 14, 2021 03:04 PM
Shane Wayne Michael
Shane Michael
| Credit: Polk County Sheriff’s Office

An Iowa man was sentenced to 10 years in prison last week for attacking and spitting on a man who asked him to properly put on his face mask in a store during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shane Michael, 42, was convicted of willful injury causing serious injury last month for assaulting the 60-year-old victim after he left a Vision 4 Less eyewear store in Des Moines on Nov. 11, the Des Moines Register reports.

According to the Iowa Capital Dispatch, citing police and court records, Michael was in the eyewear store when another customer asked him to adjust his mask, which was below his nose.

After a verbal exchange occurred, the victim left the store and returned to his car in the parking lot where he alleged Michael assaulted him, the Capital Dispatch reports.

The victim says Michael gouged him in the eye, kneed him in the groin and then pulled down his mask. Michael then coughed and spat in his face and said, referring to COVID-19, "If I have it, you have it!"

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Michael alleged that the customer was the aggressor and shoulder-checked him and jabbed him in the stomach, the Capital Dispatch reports.

Michael's father, Dennis Michael, said the sentence handed down to his son was too harsh.

"It's like [the victim] got a black eye in a bar fight, and now my son is getting 10 years in prison," he said, the Capital Dispatch reports.

Michael's attorney could not be reached for comment.