KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 ― Canadian Travis Lee Theberg was fined RM800 by the Magistrate’s Court here today after pleading guilty to refusing to wear a face mask and making a lewd gesture towards the employees who reprimanded him at a mall here last week.
The 44-year-old man got RM700 fine for not wearing a face mask in a closed area and RM100 for showing his middle finger towards the staff of Village Grocer in M-City Mall on Jalan Ampang.
He was charged under Section 14 of the Minor Offences Act 1955 and Regulation 18 of the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Measures Within the Infected Local Areas) Regulations.
Theberg’s lawyer Jayananda Rao told Malay Mail his client was remorseful for his action last week.
“He had been feeling unwell and had not taken his medication. He told me he didn’t even realise he was not wearing a mask and can’t recall what triggered him,” the lawyer said.
Asked what medications Theberg missed, Jayananda said he did not ask his client for that information.
“He admits he is guilty and wants to make amends for it and promises to do better,” Jayananda said.
The lawyer also clarified that Theberg was not arrested but rather had presented himself to police after finding out that he was the subject of a viral video the day after the incident.
Jayananda said Theberg had first presented himself at the Tun Razak police station and was later told to go to the Pudu police station, which was where he was informed he would be charged.
Theberg was seen in videos circulating since April 16 entering the mall without a mask and behaving aggressively towards other patrons and mall staff who asked him why he was not wearing a face mask as mandated by the law while in enclosed public spaces.
He was heard to be challenging the mall staff with “What are you going to do?” and then jabbing his finger towards the employee’s face.
Theberg is said to be working in the oil-and-gas industry and was employed to work in Malaysia this year.