Lawrence anti-mask protester arrested at middle school on suspicion of aggravated assault

photo by: Rochelle Valverde

Justin Spiehs points to commissioners while speaking against the county mask requirement as part of the Douglas County Commission meeting on Sept. 22, 2021.

A Lawrence man known for leading anti-mask protests in town was arrested Saturday morning outside a school building.

Justin P. Spiehs, 40, was arrested on suspicion of two counts of aggravated assault around 10 a.m., according to the booking log. The arrest location is listed as West Middle School, 2700 Harvard Road, where Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health was hosting a vaccine clinic for children between the ages of 5 and 11.

Lt. David Ernst of the Lawrence Police Department told the Journal-World officers responded to a report of a disturbance around 10 a.m. Saturday. When they arrived, an individual told police they were taking their child to the vaccine clinic when Spiehs confronted them. The person said Spiehs separated a stick from a sign he was holding and began to wave the stick at them, which was determined to have put them in fear of bodily harm.

Spiehs is in Douglas County Jail custody with no bond set.


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