Spitting on someone is already wildly rude, but doing it to an RCMP officer in the middle of a pandemic is almost unthinkable. Unfortunately, it appears that's just what happened in B.C. recently. A man reportedly spat on an RCMP officer right as he was getting arrested.
According to a release shared with Narcity by the RCMP, several officers and a police service dog named "Ice" got the call to investigate an empty residence on Saturday, April 4, a bit after 4 p.m.
The building was on the 1300 block of Alder Court, Kelowna. It was meant to be vacant and under renovations, but the building owner said he heard someone inside.
The officers managed to find and confront the man inside. However, as the were arresting him, he spat in the face of one of the officers.
"Spitting on anyone is always a serious assault," said Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy in a release shared with Narcity. "But to do so in this current pandemic is particularly unacceptable."
Instead of getting slapped with just one charge of breaking and entering, 39-year-old Jesse Hyde got an additional charge of aggravated assault on a police officer.
Hyde is currently in custody.
Help us keep 9-1-1 for emergencies only. For all non-medical questions about COVID-19, call 1-888-COVID19.… https://t.co/PZESKXajSL— BCRCMP (@BCRCMP)1585171498.0
According to CTV News, police say Hyde hasn't displayed any symptoms of novel coronavirus. However, they say they'll be keeping a close eye both on him and the officer he spat on.
A disturbing trend is starting to surface where people are using the virus to harm others. For example, on Thursday, April 2, an Albertan who potentially had COVID-19 was arrested for allegedly deliberately coughing in the face of a police officer.
Meanwhile, RCMP in Nova Scotia have gotten multiple threats from people claiming they're going to cough on the officers and infect them with COVID-19.
Unfortunately, it's not just police that have been getting these threats.
Calgary police report that several civilians also got serious threats, including one Indigenous Facebook group where a person threatened to spread COVID-19, ebola, and other diseases to their reservation.
If you have #COVID19, or think you might have it, help prevent spreading it to others by staying home and following… https://t.co/Q97faqSbW5— BCCDC (@BCCDC)1586214040.0
However, police and RCMP are also adapting quickly to suppress the threats.
Calgary police managed to catch and charge the person who threatened the Indigenous group, and as seen with this case, officers have been charging people who cough or spit on them.