Suspect With Coronavirus Coughs, Spits On Police Officer

Oregon cop is now in isolation
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2020 12:33 AM CDT
COVID-Positive Suspect Coughs, Spits On Cop
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / choochart choochaikupt)

Oregon police officers were trying to arrest a suspect in a McDonald's parking lot early Sunday when he allegedly coughed and spit on a female officer—who must now quarantine, because the suspect was infected with the coronavirus. He knew of his diagnosis, police say. Miguel Hernandez-Cuesta, 24, was allegedly asleep in the Tigard fast food restaurant's drive-thru when officers arrived and attempted to arrest him on suspicion of driving under the influence, NBC News reports. Police believe he intentionally tried to infect the officer; the Portland Tribune reports he also at one point allegedly put his car into gear and nearly ran into a patrol car.

"In the course of the arrest, while Tigard Police officers were searching the man for weapons or dangerous items, he began coughing profusely and stated he had COVID-19," per a department release. "An officer asked him to stop coughing on them, but he turned his face toward the officers and proceeded to cough and spit on one of their faces while standing less than a foot away." They were wearing masks and gloves at the time. Jail staff later confirmed the suspect's diagnosis. The man has also been charged with driving while suspended and felony aggravated harassment. (More coronavirus stories.)

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