Amherst Police told of maskless man at market, accosting people downtown

Staff Writer
Published: 6/9/2020 2:02:28 PM

AMHERST — Police responded to several incidents Saturday in downtown Amherst in which a man was causing altercations while refusing to wear a mask or face covering in public.

At 10:06 a.m., management at the Amherst Farmers Market, set up on the Town Common, told police the man wouldn’t cover his mouth and nose and was intentionally walking in the wrong direction through the market.

When he was asked to leave, he yelled about his First Amendment rights and threatened to get a weapon, before fleeing.

At 1:11 p.m., police took a report that the same man, wearing a cowboy hat, was confronting people on downtown streets about their masks, and may have tried to pull one off. He advised police that he is informing people COVID-19 is a hoax and that they don’t need to wear masks to protect themselves, but he denied assaulting anyone.

Previously, a woman reported at 3:15 p.m. Friday that she was at the Not Bread Alone soup kitchen on June 4 when a different man spit in her face after she complained that he was not wearing a mask or face covering, putting other people in danger. She told police she is considering pressing charges against her assailant. 

Scott Merzbach can be reached at


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