24-year-old Samuel Barron Shapiro is charged with felony aggravated assault after a grand jury indicted him on the charge stemming from a mask enforcement encounter in downtown Nashville. Court records show Howard “Butch” Morris, while on duty as a TLC commission inspector in October of 2020 demanded that Metro Nashville police issue a citation to Shapiro, who he says had refused to wear a mask, despite multiple requests from the inspector. Shapiro told officers that Morris had been harassing him, and stated he will hit him if he continues to follow him.
Moments later, the inspector approached Shapiro, and Shapiro swung at him twice, missing the first time, and knocking him to the ground as the second punch landed. As the victim sat up from the blow, Shapiro reportedly used his boot to kick the victim in the head. The case was presented to the Grand Jury in September of 2021, at which time a true bill was returned, and a warrant was issued. Shapiro was booked into jail on the charge on December 8th and is free on a $7,500 bond.
Inspector Morris also once sued a Nashville taxi driver for $250,000 after the driver ran over his foot during an altercation as Morris was chastising the driver about using an incorrect pickup location. That case settled out of court.