People may cough or sneeze on someone as a prank, but such an act isn’t funny, especially right now. Some people have actually died from COVID-19 after someone coughed on them. In fact, doing so can be considered assault, believe it or not.
A Glen Burnie man who had a warrant for his arrest in Florida was recently arrested in Maryland after coughing on a police officer. The man was arrested outside the Red Roof Inn Hotel on Riva Road in Annapolis on May 6 after he was caught trespassing on the property.
Police responded and found the 29-year-old man in a vehicle. They found out he was wanted in Florida. The man then told police he had the coronavirus and proceeded to cough in their faces.
The man was booked into jail for the warrant. In Maryland, he was charged with assault as well as failing to obey the state’s stay at home order. It is unknown if the man does have coronavirus. It is also unclear what crime he committed in Florida.
For some, coughing on another person may be considered funny. For others, it’s unsanitary and disgusting. But in many states, it’s actually a crime.
That’s because coughing on someone can potentially be deadly. COVID-19 is spread through droplets from a person’s nose or mouth when they cough or sneeze. These droplets can spread up to 6 feet, which is why it is recommended to stay 6 feet apart from others.
Therefore, if a person intentionally coughs or sneezes on someone, and they know they have coronavirus, they can infect that person. That person can become very ill and even die. Simply coughing on someone can result in a misdemeanor assault charge. If the person is harmed by it, then the charge can be elevated to aggravated assault, which is a felony. Coughing on a law enforcement is typically a felony charge, regardless of the situation.
While coughing on others may seem like an isolated incident, it’s actually becoming more and more common. It has happened multiple times in Virginia, as well as to shoppers in grocery stores and Walmart stores in Florida, New York and Tennessee.
Ideally, people should keep their germs to themselves and wear masks to protect themselves and others. COVID-19 is already spreading at a rapid pace and people need to do their part to prevent the spread.
While coughing or sneezing on someone may not seem as harmful as shooting or stabbing someone, such an act can make a person very ill and even kill them.
Assault charges should not be taken lightly. If you are convicted, you can face fines, prison time and other penalties. Get help from the Columbia criminal lawyers at the Law Offices of Todd K. Mohink, P.A. He has 20 years of criminal defense experience and can provide you with a solid defense. Schedule a free consultation by filling out the online form or calling (410) 774-5987.
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