SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A 58-year-old man is facing extra charges after intentionally coughing in the face of a Sioux Falls Police Department officer while being arrested for a possible theft.
According to SFPD spokesman Sam Clemens, Blaine Lyons is facing charges of aggravated assault on law enforcement, sliming (spitting on an officer), making a terroristic threat and criminal entry of a motor vehicle.
Police responded to a call of an attempted theft in the 4500 block of West 12th Street around 1 p.m. on Sunday. After arresting the suspect, police have been putting masks on suspects for the safety of the victim and officer. This suspect intentionally coughed in the officer’s face and said he had COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
Clemens said police aren’t sure if the man is positive with COVID-19 or not.
He added future situations like this revolve around whether victim’s feel threatened. Clemens cited aggravated assault, sliming, terroristic threats as all possible charges and added the state’s attorney’s office agreed with those charges.
“It’s not a matter of messing around. This is something people can get sick from,” Clemens said. “If you are intentionally doing something or threatening to do something, there could be some criminal charges that come as a result of that.”