A Buffalo woman has pleaded guilty to a pepper spray attack over a mask mandate. Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced that the 27-year-old woman entered her plea before State Supreme Court Justice Paul B. Wojtaszek on Friday, February 4, 2022. Deshawna A. Taylor pleaded guilty to one count of Assault in the Third Degree, which is a misdemeanor.

Taylor went into a medical office on Main Street near Humboldt Parkway in Buffalo on August 31, 2021, around 4 in the afternoon. She was asked by an employee of the medical office to wear a face mask. She left the office, then returned with a canister of pepper spray. She reached under a glass divider and sprayed the employee. The victim was treated for her injuries from the spray.

Taylor could spend up to one year in jail. Her sentencing hearing will be held on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, at 9:30 am. She is out on her own recognizance. A restraining order was issued against Taylor on behalf of the medical office employee.

New York State has pretty strict laws when it comes to using pepper spray. According to LegalBeagle.com,

All canisters must list a toll-free phone number leading users to self-defense safety and training courses and must state that using the spray in any instance other than self-defense is a criminal offense in New York. The state allows individuals to carry pepper spray on their person if the canister is pocket-sized and it has a clear label stating that the spray is for self-defense only.

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