A Jersey City man threatened cops with COVID-19 after trying to break into a family member’s home early this morning, exclaiming “If I’m going to die, you’re going to die.”
Eric Rock, 35, of Jersey City, was arrested at about 6 a.m. this morning by local police and charged with two counts of second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency, two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer (4th degree), two counts of throwing bodily fluid at an officer (4th degree), criminal mischief (disorderly persons offense), and harassment (petty disorderly persons offense), Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced.
Rock allegedly went to a relative’s home and kicked in a window of the house, where he does not live or have any belongings, when she would not let him inside. At that point, police were called and found Rock in front of the house.
As he was being arrested, he coughed on police officers and claimed he had the coronavirus and would infect them, stating “If I’m going to die, you’re going to die.”
Also in Hudson County, Stalin Paulino, 39, and Mark Rombowski, 65, of West New York, were charged by local police with violating the emergency orders for loitering in a bus stop shelter with no legitimate purpose and failing to maintain social distance.
Both had been warned previously about violating the orders, according to the AG’s office.
During his daily press conference in Trenton, Gov. Phil Murphy (D) referred to anyone that was being cited for these sorts of violations as “members of the Knucklehead Hall of Shame.”
“Again, to the members of the Knucklehead Hall of Shame, it’s just beyond comprehension why people would do that, but apparently they continue to do that,” he said.
“And it’s one thing to not have a face covering, although that’s inexcusable, but it’s another thing to proactively, and aggressively, try to infect somebody else – which is completely unacceptable.”
On April 1st, Grewal announced enhanced charges against six individuals who were charged with assaulting law enforcement officers and violating the emergency orders.
Specifically, those enhanced charges included making terroristic threats during a state of emergency, which is a second degree offense and carries a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
As a result, Rock is similarly charged for his conduct against law enforcement officers.
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.