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Man tasered after 'coughing at police' while claiming to have coronavirus
30 March 2020, 16:20
A man has been tasered by police after he deliberately coughed at them and claimed he was infected with coronavirus.
The Metropolitan Police said the 24-year-old suspect had walked up to officers while they were sat in a car in Haringey, London.
He then shouted that he had coronavirus before deliberately started "coughing saliva all over them".
Officers claim he then physically attacked them, and they needed to use their tasers before being able to arrest him.
The suspect tested negative for the virus and has been bailed until early April.
Haringey Police tweeted: “This is the sad reality of what your front-liners are faced with. This will not be tolerated.
“Thank you MPS Firearms for your assistance with this individual, we appreciate your help.”
Director of public prosecutions Max Hill warned last week that using coronavirus as a threat against emergency workers would be treated as a crime and could carry a two-year prison sentence.
Despite this, there have been several incidents of people deliberately coughing at other key workers, including supermarket staff.
Paul Leivers, 48, admitted two counts of assault on an emergency worker after spitting at police officers while claiming to have Covid-19. He was jailed for one year.
Meanwhile another man in appeared at Manchester and Salford Magistrates' Court accused of spitting blood in the face of police officers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Samuel Konneh, 38, is accused of four counts of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent relating to the spitting at the officers.
Last week the DPP warned that anyone using Covid-19 as a threat against key workers such as supermarket staff or members of the public could also face jail time.