A Jersey City man allegedly coughed on Montvale cops, claiming to be infected with COVID-19, while being arrested earlier this week, state authorities announced.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Tyler A. Harrison, 32, of Jersey City, was charged on May 26th by the Montvale Police Department with terroristic threats during an emergency (2nd degree), aggravated assault (2nd degree), aggravated on a law enforcement officer (3rd degree), receiving stolen property (3rd degree), and possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) (3rd degree).
While being taken into custody, Harrison allegedly repeatedly coughed at two officers while claiming to have COVID-19.
“We have zero patience for those who spit on cops, gouge prices, or try to exploit this pandemic for their personal gain,” New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a statement.
“Those who choose to ignore the law and selfishly place others at risk will face swift law enforcement action,” New Jersey State Police Superintendent Col. Patrick Callahan added.
In an unrelated incident, Iris L. Diaz, 51, of Union City, was charged on May 24th by the Union City Police Department for not requiring that masks be worn by employees at her restaurant, Punto de la Baleda on 37th Street.
Responding officers saw Diaz and an employee preparing food without wearing face coverings. The business had been warned earlier that day for the same violations.
Violation of the emergency orders is a disorderly persons offense carrying a sentence of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Such violations are charged by summons, without arrest.
Since the state of emergency was declared in New Jersey on March 9, at least 39 people have been charged with second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency for spitting, coughing, or otherwise threatening to deliberately expose officers, medical personnel, or others to COVID-19.
Second-degree offenses carry a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
Third-degree charges carry a sentence of three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000, while fourth-degree charges carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.