A man who spat in a police officer’s face and lied about having coronavirus said he did it because he was “stressed.”
Karan Singh, 23, was jailed for four months at Croydon Crown Court in south London, U.K. on Friday after he pleaded guilty to three counts of assault on an emergency worker, possession of cannabis and use of threatening or abusive words or behavior.
Police officers had spotted Singh sitting in a car in Croydon despite being disqualified from driving on March 14, London’s Metropolitan Police said in a news release.
When the officers spoke to Singh, they noticed a strong smell of cannabis coming from him and the vehicle, police said. As the officers prepared to start searching the vehicle, Singh attempted to flee. He started to drive off, but stalled the car’s engine.
During a search of the vehicle, officers found 10 bags of cannabis and Singh admitted to having the drugs for personal use, police said.
Singh was taken to a police station in south London, where he hurled abuse at officers who interviewed him. Afterwards, Singh became “aggressive,” police said, and struggled with three officers as they took him back to his cell.
At the cell door, Singh “spat directly” into one officer’s face and told the officer he had coronavirus. The officer later had to go to hospital for checks, police said. Singh’s spit also landed on the faces of the other two officers.
Later, as he was interviewed from behind his cell door, Singh said his behavior was due to him getting “stressed out” after waiting for hours. He also admitted that he did not have coronavirus and that he had lied because he was angry. He also apologized to the officers.
As well as the four-month sentence, Singh was sentenced to an additional four month term, to run consecutively, for breaching a previous suspended sentence.
Following his sentencing, Superintendent Dan Knowles said: “It is never acceptable to spit at an emergency worker, whether it is during these unprecedented times or not.
“Singh carrying out this vile act and then lying about having coronavirus was a deplorable thing to do and it caused a great deal of distress for the officers and staff who were just trying to do their job and keep London safe.”
Knowles added: “Offenders who think this is an acceptable thing to do will be arrested and placed before the courts, and a prison sentence is a likely outcome.”
This infographic, provided by Statista, shows the countries with the most COVID-19 cases as of April 28.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advice on Using Face Coverings to Slow Spread of COVID-19
- CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering in public where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- A simple cloth face covering can help slow the spread of the virus by those infected and by those who do not exhibit symptoms.
- Cloth face coverings can be fashioned from household items. Guides are offered by the CDC. (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html)
- Cloth face coverings should be washed regularly. A washing machine will suffice.
- Practice safe removal of face coverings by not touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash hands immediately after removing the covering.
World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
- Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before, during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
- Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.
- Avoid close contact with others if you have any symptoms.
- Stay at home if you feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and runny nose, to avoid potential spread of the disease to medical facilities and other people.
- If you develop serious symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and contact local health authorities in advance.
- Note any recent contact with others and travel details to provide to authorities who can trace and prevent spread of the disease.
- Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.
Mask and glove usage
- Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
- Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
- Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
- Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
- Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of the mask.
- Do not reuse single-use masks.
- Regularly washing bare hands is more effective against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves.
- The COVID-19 virus can still be picked up on rubber gloves and transmitted by touching your face.