Shane Wayne Michael, 42, apparently got angry after a man asked him to put his mask on his nose at a Des Moines eyewear store in November, according to local reports.
The victim said Michael followed him to his car, cornered him in the parking lot – then threw him to the ground, gouged his eye out and kicked him in the groin , according to The Iowa Capital Dispatch.
Michael then coughed in the man’s face, spat on him and said, “‘If I have it, you have it,’ referring to COVID-19, according to the report.
The Saylor Township resident was convicted last month of intentional injuries causing serious injury, and sentenced Wednesday, according to the Des Moines Register.
Micheal claimed he was acting in self-defense and only stuck his finger in the man’s eye after the man bit him, the outlet said. The victim admitted to biting Michael after receiving a knee in the groin.
The incident is one of the most serious face mask conflicts to arise during the coronavirus pandemic.
An Asian woman was punched in the face by a man she asked to wear a mask at a store on the Lower East Side in April.
A month earlier, another Asian woman was attacked in Midtown by a man who was angry because she was not masked outside.
“Where’s your corona mask, you Asian bh,” the suspect shouted as she punched the woman, sources said.