"My husband, being a good guy, walked in front of her and was like ‘hey calm down please don’t do this’ and then she grabbed him and just starting macing him, she used the entire can on him."
On 23 July 2020, at around 3 pm, a man was sitting near a picnic table at the Dusty Rhodes Dog Park in Ocean Beach, San Diego, when a woman came up to him and started yelling.
The man was at the park with his wife and three-month-old puppy, enjoying their meal when the woman came up to them and started the squabble.
Wearing a mask on her face and holding on to her dog's leash, the woman screamed at the man for not wearing a mask and for eating in the park despite there being a no food policy, as reported by KTLA 5. A part of the altercation between the man and woman was caught in a 51-second video, where the woman can be seen pepper-spraying the man and grabbing his arms to stop him from looking the other way.
In the video taken by a bystander, a woman could be heard crying uncontrollably and the voice belonged to the man's wife, Ash O’Brien, who shared the footage on Facebook.
"This is my husband getting maced by a random old lady. We had our 3-month-old pug with us," Ash wrote and then claimed. "...We were not wearing masks because we were eating. You can’t wear a mask and eat at the same time. She kept calling us idiots and flipping me off. Then she started saying more stuff and I told her to leave the park and stop harassing us. She then came right up to our table where we were eating, pointed the mace at me first, and got a little on me, and then my husband stepped in and took the entire can."
Following the incident, her husband was taken to the hospital and got the treatment he needed. When Ash spoke about the incident, she said, "If we knew there was a no food policy, we wouldn’t have brought it into the park. The lady who maced him automatically started saying stuff about us not wearing a mask when we were social distancing; there was no one near us," as reported by ABC 10News.
"She used the entire can [of pepper spray] on him.”— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 26, 2020
A man was assaulted by a stranger because he wasn't wearing a face mask while outside and social distancing. https://t.co/bNlM8ifeOP
The wife added, "My husband, being a good guy, walked in front of her and was like ‘hey calm down please don’t do this’ and then she grabbed him and just starting macing him, she used the entire can on him."
Some of the pepper-spray also got on Ash's arms, making her feel a burning sensation. As for the husband, the woman went right at his face. "We drove to the hospital, he got treated and everything," Ash said.
After the incident came out and people questioned the couple for not wearing a mask, Ash wrote her defense on Facebook and said, "One: you can’t wear a mask while you eat. Two: we were sitting at the table by ourselves and she came up to us breaking the social distancing, plus there was plenty of other people who were not wearing masks at the park. Three: mask or no mask as long as you aren’t bothering anyone you don’t deserve to be assaulted. Four: Using any type of lethal spray like that causes an excessive amounts of your body fluids to come out such as snot and spit. So if you’re so terrified of covid why would you put yourself at more risk by getting someone else’s bodily fluids all over you."
Wanting justice for what happened, the couple went to the police with the video and filed a report against the woman who pepper-sprayed them. It was confirmed that the San Diego Police Department had taken a misdemeanor battery report; however, details about the case was not revealed.
Ash said, "I want her to go to jail, she assaulted my husband, and I’m angry about it."