Alberta RCMP members, including two officers in Wetaskiwin, have reported being coughed on by people claiming to be COVID-19 positive.
“The threat to transmit the COVID-19 virus is a threat to the well-being and health of our members, which is a criminal offence,” said assistant commissioner John Ferguson.
“To actually carry out these threats would be an assault on a peace officer.”
Currently, there is only one incident that has led to charges.
Wetaskiwin RCMP responded to a complaint of a male causing a disturbance by yelling and swearing at a residence in the area of 48th Street and 48th Avenue on Sunday.
Police went to the residence, where they located and arrested the male, who was breaching his release conditions.
The man stated he had COVID-19, and coughed intentionally into an officer’s face and again when escorted to the police car, say police.
The male intentionally coughed into another officer’s face while being processed at the detachment.
Dwight Tootoosis, 59, of Wetaskiwin is charged with failing to comply with undertaking, assaulting a police officer, mischief and failing to comply with the Public Health Act.
“We want Albertans to know that their provincial police force is fully operational, and continues to ensure the safety and security of Albertans,” the RCMP say in a release.
“These times are unprecedented, and we want Albertans to know we are prepared and ready to serve across this province. Members of the public are reminded to adhere to current public health guidelines with respect to slowing the spread of COVID-19.”