A New York father, who was facing jail time for refusing to wear a mask to his son’s outdoor basketball game, has won his case in court.
Chad Hummel, an attorney from Rochester, NY, was arrested and charged with criminal trespassing last spring for going maskless, despite social distancing and being outdoors.
Hummel was facing up to 90 days in jail and professional licensing consequences over the incident.
However, he beat the charges in court and was acquitted after a four-hour bench trial before Judge Joseph J. Valentino.
Hummel plans to sue the district over the incident and its decision to ban the father from district property, which threatened to keep Hummel from his son’s graduation ceremony.
“Mr. Hummel is pleased with the verdict and he is thankful for the Court‘s thoughtful legal Decision,” a press release from Hummel said.
The release suggests two witnesses for the prosecution told “untrue testimony under oath” during the trial.
“Hummel cannot elaborate on their identity or the nature of the untrue testimony as he prepares for the civil lawsuit to come and believes that the civil litigation is the appropriate forum for that truth to come out,” the statement said.
“The Trespass charge arose from an incident where Hummel was standing alone in a field, hundreds of feet from anyone, maskless, when he was approached by a security guard employed by the Irondequoit Chief of Police, Alan Laird’s private security company in Town,” the statement described.
“The plainclothes guard ordered Hummel to leave his son‘s baseball game despite the Executive Order at the time that did not require outdoor masking.
“There was even a sign on the Stadium entrance that stated masks were optional when 6 feet apart.
“Mr. Hummel stood his ground and the police arrived, handcuffed him, and took him to jail.”
Hummel told The Daily Wire last spring that he would need a public apology and the necessary resignations for him to not pursue a civil rights lawsuit:
“The message to the school district is simply this: I could have a pretty substantial civil rights lawsuit when my criminal case gets dismissed,” he said.
“But I’m not in this for the money. I don’t want their money. If they want to issue a public apology to all of the people that they’ve been heavy-handed against, and if a couple people want to publicly resign, I’ll give them a full release of my lawsuit that I could bring against them once my criminal case is dismissed.”
If certain people resign, including Superintendent Mary Grow, Hummel emphasized that he will gladly drop his intention to sue — but the choice is in their hands.
“They can keep the money; I don’t want it. If they don’t want to resign and they don’t want to issue a public apology, then they’re going to make that decision for me. They’ll give me no choice; I’ll have to bring a lawsuit against them. It’s that simple.”
“Mr. Hummel has been previously quoted as stating that, ‘[he] would accept a public apology, some resignations and a change to the school code of conduct’ in lieu of monetary damages,” the press release said.
“Now that the District sought to criminalize him, damage his professional career and hurt his family, he‘s reconsidering.”