An Oregon police officer had to be quarantined after a man infected with coronavirus coughed and spit on him during an arrest, according to the Tigard Police Department. The incident took place in the drive-thru of a McDonald's in Tigard Ore on Sunday night. The suspect was finally arrested but is being treated after testing positive for Covid-19.
The officer was wearing a mask and gloves but it is still not known if the suspect was wearing a mask. McDonald's last week made it mandatory for all customers to wear masks in its restaurants across the United States. The suspect was also booked on an additional charge of felony aggravated harassment.
Officers from the Tigard Police Department responded to a call about a man who fell asleep while sitting in line at a McDonald's drive-thru on Southwest 72nd Avenue at 2.23 am on Sunday. The man appeared to be drunk and pulled out of drive-thru and parked his car in the restaurant's lower lot before officers arrived at the scene.
Officers spotted the man, later identified as Miguel Hernandez-Cuesta, 24, at the parking lot. He had passed out in the driver's seat and was hanging out of the open door. When officers approached him he was smelling alcohol. Hernandez-Cuesta was asked to turn off the engine which was still in ignition.
Instead of following the orders of the officers, he put it in drive and started moving forward, in an attempt to avoid arrest and almost hit the police vehicle in the process. However, Hernandez-Cuesta was immediately arrested on charges of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants [DUII] and his driving license was suspended.
During the course of the arrest, Hernandez-Cuesta started coughing profusely and said that he had Covid-19. When an officer asked him to stop coughing, Hernandez-Cuesta turned at him and coughed and spit on him who was standing less than a foot away.
Officers at Risk
According to police, Hernandez-Cuesta was asked several times by the officers not to cough if he really had been infected by coronavirus but he instead decided to spit on the officer to avoid arrest. However, he was so intoxicated that he couldn't escape. The Washington County Jail later said that Hernandez-Cuesta indeed tested positive for Covid-19. However, the jail roster didn't list Hernandez-Cuesta as an inmate till Monday afternoon as he was being treated for Covid-19.
The officer, although wearing a surgical mask and gloves, was immediately quarantined following the incident and is under observation for any potential symptoms to the virus, according to a Tigard Police Department statement. Hernandez-Cuesta was booked on an additional charge of felony aggravated harassment.
While several states are making masks mandatory, incidents of aggressive disobedience of orders from people are being reported time and again. Police have often confronted unruly people and at times even have had to risk their lives. Tigard Police Department, however, didn't reveal the name of the officer.