GLENDALE, Calif. (AP) — A man who allegedly spat on random people while jogging in a Los Angeles suburb because they weren’t wearing masks has been arrested, police announced Friday.
James Howard, 38, of Glendale, was arrested on Dec. 30 and booked for investigation of battery, elder abuse and committing a hate crime, police said.
He was released on bond, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department website. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Late last year, Glendale police began receiving reports that a shirtless jogger was “spitting on random people outdoors, primarily for not wearing a face mask,” a police statement said.
“Victims of his assaults ranged in age from 13 to 78 years old. In some incidents, the suspect taunted and used racial slurs towards the victims during the assault,” the statement said.
In one assault, the jogger told a man to go back to his own country and slapped him on the back of the head, police said.
Howard was arrested after detectives working on the case received a call that a jogger had just spit in someone’s face, police said.
“Howard admitted to committing the series of reported assaults along with other assaults that had not been reported,” the police statement said.