Police Taser man who coughed on them claiming he had coronavirus
Police say they Tasered a man who claimed he had coronavirus and deliberately coughed over officers sat in a car in London.
The Metropolitan Police firearms command said on Twitter that the suspect had walked up to officers in a car in Haringey, north London, yesterday and ‘shouted that he had coronavirus before deliberately coughing saliva all over them’.
The unidentified man then began to physically attack them, officers said, before he was Tasered and arrested. The suspect was later tested for the virus and found not to have it.
Last week director of public prosecutions Max Hill warned the public that using Covid-19 as a threat against emergency workers would be treated as a crime that could lead to up to two years in prison.
It comes amid a series of reports of attacks on emergency workers as the crisis in the UK escalates.
Deliberately coughing at other key workers such as supermarket staff could be prosecuted as a common assault, which could mean up to six months in prison.
The latest incident follows a ‘despicable and disgraceful’ man being jailed for a year after spitting at police officers and claiming he had symptoms of coronavirus. Paul Leivers, 48, admitted two counts of assault on an emergency worker after being arrested in Mansfield on Thursday.
In a tweet about yesterday’s incident, the Met said the man in London was uninjured and added: ‘The officers involved are safe and well.
‘Thank you for your continued support, it means a great deal to the officers who #KeepLondonSafe’.
Meanwhile, another man allegedly spat at three officers in Brighton, when police were called to a report of criminal damage at a block of flats on Saturday.
They arrested Peter Davy, 65, from Brighton, who is due to appear at Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Monday accused of three counts of assaulting an emergency worker.
A male was tasered by #SCO19 officers yesterday in the @MPSHaringey area, when he approached their vehicle and shouted that he had Coronavirus before deliberately coughing saliva all over them whilst also beginning to physically attack them. The male was arrested without injury.
He is also charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause fear of violence; and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to cause harassment, alarm or distress.
In a separate incident in Salford, a hospital worker suffered a fractured cheekbone after he was punched in the face.
Greater Manchester Police said Daniel Shevlin, 27, had been charged with Section 20 assault and an offence under Section 4a of the Public Order Act after the alleged incident at Salford Royal Infirmary on Sunday.
The staff member – a man in his 50s – required treatment for a fractured cheekbone but has since been discharged, police said.
A force spokesman said Shevlin, of no fixed abode, had been remanded in custody and was due to appear at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
High demands are being placed on officers to keep up with evolving lockdown restrictions.
This morning a cyclist was booked for trying to ride through Richmond Park, which imposed a bike ban on Friday after the gates became routinely over-congested.
The officer appeared to be in discussions with the cyclist for some time before taking his details.
Last week the Met’s commissioner, Cressida Dick, asked for retired officers to return to the force to help during the crisis.
She said: ‘Demands on us will grow and vary over the coming weeks but I want people to know and see that the Met is here for them. We must maintain our operational resilience and continue to provide the best possible service to London.’
Meanwhile, Warrington Police tweeted today: ‘Overnight 6 people have been summonsed for offences relating to the new corona virus legislation to protect the public.
‘These included; Out for a drive due to boredom. Returning from parties. Multiple people from the same household going to the shops for non-essential items.’