ESTERO — UPDATE (9:30 a.m. 01/07/2021): The Lee County Sheriff's Office has provided more information on the man who was arrested at Hertz Arena.
Bengard Andrey Mikhaylovich, 42, was asked to put on a mask by Hertz Arena staff and security on Saturday night, and when he did not comply, he was asked to leave. Lee County deputies were asked to assist. After asking Mikhaylovich to leave a final time, deputies attempted to lift Mikhaylovich out of his seat. He resisted, and was tased three times, then handcuffed and arrested.
Mikhaylovich is facing one charge of trespassing and one charge of resisting arrest.
ORIGINAL STORY: A video of a man being arrested at a Florida Everblades game is being shared on social media.
That man was handcuffed in the stands for not wearing a mask, and then refusing to leave.
We spoke with the man who shot the video. He didn't want to be identified, but he said the man who was arrested was asked multiple times by ushers, stadium security, and finally sheriff’s deputies to put on a mask, or leave the arena.
When he didn’t comply, things got ugly.
In the video, you can see the man struggling with deputies, right in front of his children. Security guards had to move the kids to deal with him.
We spoke with an attorney who said every bit of that is legal.
"The staff have every right, and the owners have every right, to ask you to leave, and then if you don’t leave, you should expect to be arrested," said attorney Scot Goldberg.
Goldberg said people may have been lulled into thinking they didn’t have to follow the rules, because some businesses aren’t that strict.
"There’s been a lot of places that aren’t enforcing wearing a mask. Places like Walmart and different places you go where you’re supposed to wear a mask, but if you don’t, there’s really not a lot going on. But don’t be surprised that a private business owner has every right in the world to say, if you don’t want to wear a mask, then you have to leave," said Goldberg.
Goldberg said the man who was arrested could be facing charges of trespassing or disorderly conduct.
We checked, and the arena does post its mask policy online, saying they’re required at all times unless you are actively eating or drinking. And Goldberg said, those rules are there for a reason.
"These people putting on these events want to do it as safely as possible, and if it becomes something where 100, or 200, or 1,000 people get sick at, you may not be able to go to that event again until the pandemic is under control," said Goldberg.
We did reach out to both the Sheriff’s Office and the management at Hertz Arena, but we didn’t get a response.