According to the police service, the witness who called 911 told police they saw a man “break into a garage, steal a bicycle and flee the area.”
Officers tracked down the suspect, who then resisted arrest, spat on them and claimed he had COVID-19.
Police say they’ve since charged a 33-year-old man from Ottawa with breaking and entering, assault on police, assault with intent to resist, theft under $5,000, obstructing police and breach of probation in relation to Thursday’s incident.
The man appeared in court on Thursday, police said.
Ottawa’s public health unit has confirmed the new coronavirus is spreading in the national capital. As of Friday, Ottawa Public Health said it was investigating 75 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
“The Ottawa Police Service is treating threats to the wellbeing and health of residents and our members seriously,” police said in its news release Friday.
“Spitting on another person is considered an assault and charges will be considered accordingly.”
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others. Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.
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