FBI Agents: Arrested Man Deliberately Coughed on Us

Brooklyn man Baruch Feldheim charged with assault, lying to officers
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2020 9:55 AM CDT
FBI Agents Were Social Distancing. Then They Say Man Coughed
Lee County Emergency Management Coordinator Lee Bowdry makes sure he delivers the right amount of new N95 face masks for use during the coronavirus outbreak to the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, Miss., Tuesday, March 24, 2020, before moving on to his next facility.   (Thomas Wells/The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal via AP)

A doctor who bought supplies from Baruch Feldheim told police the 43-year-old New York man had enough protective materials and sanitation supplies "to outfit an entire hospital." When FBI agents arrived at his Brooklyn home Sunday to confront him about the hoarding, he allegedly coughed on them and claimed he had the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, BuzzFeed News reports. Agents were standing several feet away from him at the time in an effort to maintain social distancing, the New York Post reports. Agents say he lied to them about why he had the materials, which included masks, hazmat gowns, and disinfectant wipes that he was allegedly selling at a massive mark-up.

Feldheim was ultimately charged with assaulting a federal officer and making false statements to law enforcement. The hoarding of medical supplies needed in the fight against COVID-19 has been banned under a week-old executive order. New York has specifically faced severe shortages of protective equipment, and the doctor who talked to police about Feldheim says he was charged a 700% markup for the items he purchased. "According to the doctor, the repair shop contained enough materials, including hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, chemical cleaning supply agents, and surgical supplies, to outfit an entire hospital," prosecutors say in their complaint. Feldheim faces up to six years in prison and a fine of $350,000. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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