COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A video showing a spectator being forcibly removed from a middle school football game in Logan after she refused to wear a facemask was viewed by millions on Thursday, including Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
DeWine addressed the incident during his news conference on updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he reached out to Monte Bainter, superintendent of the Logan Hocking Local School District, to discuss what happened.
“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,” DeWine said.
The incident took place Wednesday before a game between Logan and Marietta middle schools. Chris Smith, a school resource officer, approached Alecia Kitts, a Marietta supporter, and asked her to wear a mask. She said she would not because she suffers from asthma. Smith then asked Kitts to leave. When she refused, Smith attempted to handcuff her, applying a Taser to her right shoulder in the process, and escorted her out.
Another spectator took video of the event and posted it to her Facebook page.
DeWine defended the process in place to allow schools in Ohio to play sports during the pandemic.
“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,” DeWine said.
Kitts was charged with criminal trespassing for refusing to leave the football stadium. Logan police say additional charges are pending.