According to authorities, the argument happened at the Hudson Overlook while the two hikers were on the Midstate Trail in Ashburnham. The unidentified man informed the two hikers that the law says they had to wear masks. Additionally, he called them each selfish and irresponsible before he spit at them.
The Ashburnham Police Department shared a one-minute video of the incident with CNN that one of the hikers recorded. However, CNN has chosen not to share the video of the incident. In addition, local police did not reveal the identity of the two female hikers who recorded the incident.
Police Share Specifics of the Video Recording
Police said the culprit at large is an older male who hiked with a female companion. The man and the woman approached the two female hikers as the man confronted the women about not wearing masks.
“You’re not wearing a mask?” the man said to the two women in the video.
“I don’t care, I’m not gonna wear a mask when I’m outside,” one of the female hikers responds.
“That’s not the law, that’s not the law,” the man repeats as he walks away from the hikers.
Yet, just seconds later, he turns back and continues to argue with the women about their lack of masks.
“Selfish is what it is, completely irresponsible,” the man says to them.
“OK, thank you so much for your input,” one of the women says back facetiously.
The man pulls his mask down and walks towards the hikers. His companion attempts to grab his arm to stop him, but he continues towards the hikers anyways.
“OK, I have Covid,” the man says before spitting twice at the women within feet of them.
“I have Covid, I’ve been tested positive,” he added before spitting at them once again.
“Are you OK?” one of the women says shocked.
“No, you won’t be soon,” he said back to the hikers before spitting at them another time.
“Stop it!” the older man’s hiking companion requests.
“That’s arrogant, completely arrogant,” he says to the hikers as he laughs while walking away.
Ashburnham Lt. Chris Conrad explained that the man may face a misdemeanor charge of assault. Furthermore, he could receive a felony charge of false threat of a biological agent.
Although the man’s crude behavior is completely uncalled for, he is right about the face-covering laws in the state. Face masks or coverings are now required in all public areas in Massachusetts, whether indoors or outdoors. The order is fairly new as of Nov. 6, and part of a revised law from Gov. Charlie Baker.