Man arrested for violating Nashville's mask mandate won't face prosecution

Posted at 4:32 AM, Aug 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 00:04:58-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A 61-year-old man was arrested Wednesday night for violating a public health order that requires people to wear face masks in Nashville, but he will not face prosecution.

According to his arrest affidavit, Joseph Bryant was issued a citation for not wearing a mask around 6:40 p.m. Wednesday. About an hour later, the police report states an officer saw Bryant again in the same area. Again, he wasn't wearing a mask.

Police said Bryant had two masks in his pocket at the time.

The Nashville Community Bail Fund has offered to pay his bail.

Several people have decried the arrest of Bryant, who is homeless, as the first person arrested for violating the mask mandate, despite viral images of people on Broadway in previous weekends.

According to the arrest report, the officer said he chose to arrest Bryant because "of the obvious likelihood the offense would continue."

Bryant was booked into the Davidson County Jail on $500 bond.