Woman Assaults Boss Who Asked Her to Wear Mask at Work, Police Say

A woman has been charged with assault and resisting arrest after she allegedly threw items at her boss in a dispute about wearing face masks at work.

Tina Hoch was taken into custody after an incident at her workplace in the town of Sand Lake, New York, on September 24. State police said troopers responded to a report of a fight at a business at around 12.40 p.m. that day.

In a news release, troopers said their investigation revealed that 51-year-old Hoch had been given a warning by her employer about needing to wear her mask while at work.

In response, she allegedly threw items at her manager, physically injuring them, and also threw items around the business.

Hoch was located elsewhere later and resisted arrest when being taken into custody, according to state police. She was then processed and release.

The worker was charged with third-degree assault, resisting arrest, obstructing governmental administration, third-degree criminal tampering and disorderly conduct. New York State Police have been contacted for additional comment.

Earlier this year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order requiring people to wear masks or face coverings in spaces where social distancing is not possible, in a bid to limit the spread of coronavirus.

In his coronavirus news briefing on Tuesday, Cuomo said mask-wearing is "a sign of respect" and "good citizenship."

"It's also a law. I don't care what your political opinion is at one point," he said. "I don't care what your religious opinion is. Mask-wearing is a law."

He added: "Your actions determine your consequences. That's it. You enforce the mask ordinance; you'll have a lower infection rate. If you don't enforce the mask ordinance, you will have a higher infection rate. Those are the facts."

New York is among the hardest-hit states by the coronavirus pandemic with more than 450,000 confirmed cases and more than 25,000 deaths, according to the latest figures from the state's health department.

Rensselaer County, where Sand Lake is located, has had 916 confirmed cases and 47 deaths, the data showed.

Last week, global health experts said wearing masks could save 100,000 lives from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, by January 1.

Researchers at the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation said outdoor mask usage is just above 50 percent at the moment, but that between 95,000 and 100,000 lives could be saved if 95 percent of Americans wear masks in the coming cold weather months.

A handwritten face mask sign is displayed near a social distancing sign on the entrance to a supermarket as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus in New York City, on September 28, 2020. Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images