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Iowa man convicted of assault over mask fight sentenced to 10 years

The man is accused of gouging the victim's eye, kneeing him in the genitals and spitting and coughing on him, saying, "If I have it, you have it."

An Iowa man convicted of assaulting a man who told him to pull his mask up last year was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison, according to a court representative.

Shane Michael, 42, was convicted last month to willful injury causing serious injury — a Class C forcible felony, according to court records — which has a mandatory 10-year prison term.

Jodi Heims, a records supervisor with the Polk County Clerk of Court Office confirmed that he was sentenced last week to 10 years in prison.

Michael was arrested on Nov. 11 following the altercation at an eyeglass store in Des Moines, according to a police report.

The victim, Mark Dinning, told Des Moines police that he told Michael as he was in the store that his mask was low on his face, the report said. Dinning, 60, said Michael got angry, and the two had a verbal argument.

Shane Michael outside Vision 4 Less eyewear store after the incident in Des Moines, Iowa, on Nov. 11, 2020.Polk County District Court

When Dinning left the store, Michael followed him, cornered him outside and started to assault him, Dinning told police. Michael gouged Dinning's eye, kneed him in the genitals where he had recently had surgery and spit and coughed on him, saying, "If I have it, you have it."

Dinning said he bit Michael to try to stop the assault.

Michael told police that he was acting in self defense after Dinning "shoulder-checked" him when the two left the store, the police report said. Michael said Dinning had also "jabbed his thumb in his stomach."

Mark Dinning.Polk County District Court

But two witnesses said Michael started the physical confrontation. One recounted that Michael followed Dinning into the parking lot, cornered him and assaulted him, the police report said. There were no cameras in the parking lot.

Michael was charged with assault causing serious injury, according to court records. He was offered a plea deal that would have had him plead to willful injury causing bodily injury, a Class D felony, the Iowa Capital Dispatch reported. But Michael rejected the offer and opted to take his case to a jury.

Michael's attorney did not respond to repeated requests for comment.