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Coronavirus: Coughing on officers could lead to charges, warn Vancouver police

Tougher charges to be laid against suspects who spit or cough on police
WATCH: With COVID-19 now a major health threat, police are warning that suspects who spit or even cough on officers will be charged with aggravated assault. Rumina Daya reports.

As the novel coronavirus crisis continues, the Vancouver Police Department has issued a warning, after two people were charged with assault for allegedly coughing or spitting on officers.

On Wednesday, Chief Adam Palmer stated on Twitter: “We’ve had 2 recent incidents where suspects are threatening, coughing or spitting at #VPD officers & claiming to have #COVID19 – both charged with assaulting an officer. So proud of our members showing courage in the face of adversity.” 

VPD spokesperson Sgt. Aaron Roed told Mornings with Simi that you can be charged with aggravated assault if you know you may have COVID-19 and you intentionally cough or spit on someone.

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“Don’t think that you stating that you have COVID-19 and using that to possibly assault another person, that we’re not going to do anything about it. We will be charging you,” he said.

READ MORE: Vancouver police officer tests positive for COVID-19

Coquitlam RCMP reported a similar incident earlier this week.

A suspect was arrested for allegedly breaking into a home and told Mounties he was sick, then allegedly turned his head towards three officers and intentionally coughed in their faces.

He was charged with break and enter, theft under $5,000, and assaulting a police officer.

READ MORE: Coquitlam break-and-enter suspect intentionally coughs on police

Train passenger’s coughing etiquette leads to argument amid coronavirus concerns
Train passenger’s coughing etiquette leads to argument amid coronavirus concerns