(WHEELING, W.Va.) -- A West Virginia man is in trouble with the law for wearing a Grinch mask in public.
Norman Gray was stopped by police in Wheeling on Tuesday. Officers told him to take the mask off and not put it on again.
Police say Gray took the mask off and asked why he couldn't wear it. After officers told him that wearing masks in public is illegal, he reportedly put the mask back on and said he didn't believe it.
Gray was then arrested and the mask confiscated.
Wearing a mask or hood in public is a misdemeanor under West Virginia law, punishable by a fine of up to 500 dollars, up to a year in jail, or both. Prosecutors say masks can hinder efforts by law enforcement officials to identify criminal suspects.
Children are allowed to wear masks. There are also exceptions for safety gear, theatrical productions and Halloween.
(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)