GRAPEVINE, Texas — A man who allegedly purposefully coughed in a police officers face while claiming to have COVID-19 has been arrested and charged with harassing a police officer, according to the Grapevine Police Department.
"Last Friday a 27-year-old man thought it would be funny to purposefully cough into the face of one of our officers while saying he had the coronavirus," stated the department. "With more than 10,000 deaths reported in the United States linked to COVID-19, we did not see the humor."
Police say pretending to infect a police officer, a first responder, or anybody with a potentially life-threatening illness is not a joke, its a criminal offense.
"Our officer had to get medical clearance for both himself and the suspect," stated the department.
Once cleared by medics, the suspect, identified by police as 27-year-old Jonathan Dechoudens, was arrested and charged with harassment of a public servant, a third-degree felony.
"Our officers, and all first responders, show up to work to protect our community," stated the department. "We value your lives and your safety, and will continue to do all we can to keep you protected. That includes arresting people who claim they are infecting others with a devastating virus."
"Spread the word," continued the statement. "Don't be like Jonathan."