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Cops: Riverhead man punched woman who confronted him for not wearing mask on bus

A Riverhead man who refused to wear a protective mask while riding a Suffolk County transit bus allegedly punched a woman after they got into a verbal altercation, according to Southampton Town police.

The altercation occurred at approximately 9:45 a.m. Thursday at the Peconic Avenue traffic circle.

Police identified the man as Ernest Ryshaun Clay, 43. He was arrested and charged with third-degree assault, police said.

The 46-year-old victim was treated at the scene for a laceration to the head by the Flanders Volunteer Ambulance.

Police said the victim was riding the bus when she asked Mr. Clay to put on a protective mask, as is required by an executive order from the governor. Police said they got into a verbal altercation and when both exited the bus, Mr. Clay punched her.

Mr. Clay was transported to Southampton Town police headquarters to be processed on the misdemeanor assault charge.