A 58-year-old man is facing extra charges after intentionally coughing in the face of a Sioux Falls Police officer while being arrested for a possible theft.
Along with a charge for breaking into a vehicle, police say Blaine Lyons is facing assault on law enforcement and making a terroristic threat. After arresting him, the officer followed safety protocol and went to put a mask on Lyons. That’s when police say he intentionally coughed in the officer’s face and said he had COVID-19. Lyons later said he was joking and wasn’t sick.
“It’s not a matter of messing around. This is something people can get sick from,” Sioux Falls Police officer Sam 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.”
Clemens adds future situations like this revolve around whether victim’s feel threatened. At this point police aren’t sure if the man is positive with COVID-19 or not.