By CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A Glendale man is facing battery and hate crime charges for allegedly spitting on people, primarily for not wearing a face mask, police said Friday.

James Howard (Photo via Glendale PD)

James Howard, 38, was arrested Dec. 30 after police received a call regarding a male jogger who had just spit in someone’s face.

Investigators say in late 2020, Glendale police began receiving reports of a “shirtless male jogger who was spitting on random people outdoors, primarily for not wearing a face mask.”

One of those reports came on Dec. 2, when police say the suspect was jogging in the 1200 block of Ethel Street when he approached a victim and “made statements that the victim should go back to his country” and then slapped the victim on the head before continuing to jog.

Howard’s alleged victims ranged in age from 13 to 78. In some cases, Howard taunted and used racial slurs towards the victims during the assault, according to police.

Authorities say upon his arrest, Howard admitted to committing the reported assaults along with other assaults that had not been reported. He was arrested and booked on suspicion of battery, elder abuse and a hate crime allegation.

A police bulletin showed a shirtless man believed to be Howard. (Photo via Glendale PD)

Investigators believe there are eight incidents currently connected to Howard and possibly more that are still unreported.

Anyone with information is asked to call Glendale Police Department’s detective bureau at (818) 548-3106.