A New York father who was arrested and charged last year for not wearing a mask during his son’s outdoor baseball game has been acquitted this week. He now plans to sue over the incident.
Chad Hummel of Rochester, New York, was charged with criminal trespassing for not wearing a mask at the outdoor event. If convicted, Hummel faced up to 90 days in jail and possible impacts to his professional licensing as an attorney, The Daily Wire reported.
During a four-hour bench trial, however, Judge Joseph J. Valentino cleared Hummel of any alleged wronging.
“Mr. Hummel is pleased with the verdict and he is thankful for the Court‘s thoughtful legal Decision,” Hummel said in a press release reported by The Daily Wire.
Looking ahead, Hummel said he intends to file a lawsuit against the district over the mask incident, as well as its move to ban him from district property.
“Hummel cannot elaborate on their identity or the nature of the untrue testimony as he prepares for the civil lawsuit to come and believes that the civil litigation is the appropriate forum for that truth to come out,” the statement said, alleging that multiple witnesses for the prosecution during the trial told “untrue testimony under oath.”
“The Trespass charge arose from an incident where Hummel was standing alone in a field, hundreds of feet from anyone, maskless, when he was approached by security guard employed by the Irondequoit Chief of Police, Alan Laird‘s private security company in Town,” it continued. “The plain–clothes guard ordered Hummel to leave his son‘s baseball game despite the Executive Order at the time that did not require outdoor masking. There was even a sign on the Stadium entrance that stated masks were optional when 6 feet apart. Mr. Hummel stood his ground and the police arrived, handcuffed him and took him to jail.”
Immediately following the incident last spring, Hummel told The Daily Wire that the district could do two things to avoid a civil rights lawsuit: publicly apologize and force certain individuals to resign.
“The message to the school district is simply this: I could have a pretty substantial civil rights lawsuit when my criminal case gets dismissed,” he said. “But I’m not in this for the money. I don’t want their money. If they want to issue a public apology to all of the people that they’ve been heavy-handed against, and if a couple people want to publicly resign, I’ll give them a full release of my lawsuit that I could bring against them once my criminal case is dismissed.”
Hummel demanded Superintendent Mary Grow be among those forced to resign.
“They can keep the money; I don’t want it. If they don’t want to resign and they don’t want to issue a public apology, then they’re going to make that decision for me,” Hummel said. “They’ll give me no choice; I’ll have to bring a lawsuit against them. It’s that simple.”
“Mr. Hummel has been previously quoted as stating that, ‘[he] would accept a public apology, some resignations and a change to the school code of conduct’ in lieu of monetary damages,” the press release added. “Now that the District sought to criminalize him, damage his professional career and hurt his family, he‘s reconsidering.”