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Refusing to wear mask won’t get you arrested, refusing to leave will

  • Updated
Refusing to wear mask won’t get you arrested, refusing to leave will

Currently there is no state mandate requiring masks. But inside public places a lot more people have accepted mask wearing as a way to help slow the spread of COVID-19. If a business wants to take it a step further and enforce mask wearing, management can ask those without face coverings to leave. What happens after that? Based on a recent incident in Summerville, the would-be customer, should probably hit the exit or mask-up.

It all started, on July 18, when a man walked into a cellular phone shop on N. Main Street, while not wearing a mask. The incident report from the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office states, the man was informed by staff that he was violating store policy and asked to leave. But the customer believed he was acting within his rights and remained in the store.

The report said when deputies arrived and began speaking to the man, he began speaking over them. Deputies told the subject that management asked him to leave and by not doing so he was violating South Carolina law. Deputies were told by the subject he was not required to wear a mask because of health concerns.

The incident report said deputies told the man, regardless of his stance on the matter of mask wearing he has been instructed to leave the store and refused to do so. The report states the man continued to argue that he was not required to wear a mask and he was not required to leave.

Deputies said they then asked the subject, 48-year-old, Donn Shackeford one last time if he was refusing to leave and he said he is refusing to leave. Deputies then put him in handcuffs and placed him under arrest for not leaving as requested.

The report said the suspect then began shouting and said “he was being arrested for not wearing a mask.” Deputies said they then corrected him by telling him the actual reason for the arrest. Deputies said Shackeford continued being defiant as he was placed in a Berkeley County patrol car, while officers continued to remind him that he was under lawful arrest.

Berkeley County Court records show that he was formally charged with trespassing and entering a premises after warning or refusing to leave on request. He was given a $440 personal recognizance bond.

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