ROCKLAND — An Owls Head man was arrested Wednesday morning, Jan. 5 at Oceanside High School in Rockland after he refused to wear a mask, and then refused to leave the school.

Christy Watkinson, 57, was charged Jan. 5 by Rockland police with criminal trespass, according to Detective Sgt. Alex Gaylor.

A staff member at the high school called police at about 7:30 a.m. after Watkinson refused the directive to put on a mask or leave. Sgt. Gaylor said when an officer arrived, Watkinson again refused to put on a mask or leave.

“We did not want to arrest him, but he left us with no option,” Gaylor said.

Watkinson was taken to the police station and released. He is scheduled to make his initial appearance in the Knox County court in March.

Watkinson had been a bus driver for Rockland-based Regional School Unit 13, but has not been for a while, Superintendent John McDonald said.

“The individual was being uncooperative with school staff. He refused to wear a face mask in violation of School Board Policy. He was given the opportunity to speak outside with administration and refused. He was then asked to leave the premises and refused, therefore the police were contacted,” the superintendent said.

Knox County, like the rest of the country, has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases. Oceanside High School has seen nine cases in the past 30 days.

Medical professionals recommend wearing masks inside buildings to reduce the spread of the virus. With the Omicron variant, better masks, such as surgical masks, KN95s, and N95s, are recommended.