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Gay bartender spat on simply for asking an odious customer to wear a face mask. This is Trump’s America

Josh Milton June 22, 2020
Shane Cullinan, a bartender at a Florida queer bar, was spat at for reprimanding a patron for not wearing a mask. (Screen capture via 7 News/Facebook)

Shane Cullinan, a bartender at a Florida queer bar, was spat at for reprimanding a patron for not wearing a mask. (Screen capture via 7 News/Facebook)

A gay bartender is hoping to press charges against a customer who, after being reprimanded for not wearing a face mask, spat in his face.

It takes seconds to put on a face mask. Some wearers may have sewn pockets in theirs, adding a few seconds more to slip in a coffee filter of kitchen towel to jerry-rig a filter.

But these life-saving seconds proved too much for a Wilton Manors, Florida, business-owner who, swinging by queer-friendly bar The Pub, became irate when urged by staffer Shane Cullinan to comply with regulation.

In a winding Facebook post, Cullinan described how Fort Lauderdale restauranteur Gary Bouvier blasted him when he asked him to put on a mask when walking into The Pub.

Face masks have, in the States, become the symbol of a culture war between those simply trying to minimise the death caused by a brutal contagion and those who view the necessary restrictions as akin to a dictatorship.

Florida man spits at gay bartender after being asked to put face mask on.

As Florida state leaders hastily loosen social distancing policies, even as the death toll remains defiantly high, The Pub, in the Wilton Manors neighbourhood, has gingerly begun letting customers inside for the first time in weeks.

Cullinan said in the post that he takes regulation around social distancing seriously after a friend of his passed away. As a result, The Pub enforces that coverings must be worn when patrons are not seated.

On June 12, Cullinan claimed, he heard a man behind the bar looking for a restroom along the 2200 block. “I told him it was on the other side and he needed to put his mask on while walking around,” Cullinan said.

“He said: ‘You don’t know who I am, and f**k off.’ I followed him to near the bathroom and told him the masks were to protect others and he needed to wear one while walking about.

“Again, he said: ‘You don’t know who I am and to f**k your mom.’

“He continued to say, ‘You don’t know who I am,’ and shouted profanity.

“I walked away although he said I assaulted him in the bathroom. We have video and I never went in the bathroom.”

“Probably about seven minutes later he comes in from outside, actually has a mask on, pulls it down and spits in my face.

“He says, ‘F**k off and you messed with the wrong person,” I was completely in shock and so was his wife.

“This man [spat] in my face and put my life at risk and other patrons who were around the area. Spit stays in the air for a while. ”

Business owner ‘deeply’ regrets spitting in bartender’s face after consuming ‘too much alcohol’.

Cullinan said he called the cops but Bouvier booked it in his “Lamborghini”, before noting that his eyes had been “burning” for eight hours after Bouvier spat at him.

According to 7 News, Bouvier, the owner of Wilton Wings, later apologised on Facebook: “I consumed too much alcohol and engaged in out-of-character behaviour for which I profoundly regret.

“I hope that I may demonstrate that one moment of poor judgment does not define who I am.

“I deeply apologise to Shane.”

Cullinan added that he is currently in talks with legal counsel to pursue charges against Bouvier.

More: bar, Coronavirus, COVID-19, face mask, Florida, Health

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