A man who robbed a Hoboken liquor store coughed on local police officers and claimed to have COVID-19, threatening to bite them as he was being processed, authorities said.
Darrell Rude, 33 of Clossvale, NY, was charged with robbery, burglary, shoplifting, criminal mischief, throwing bodily fluids, refusal to provide a biological sample, refusal to be fingerprinted, and committing an unauthorized act during a state of emergency, according to Police Det. Sgt. Jonathan Mecka.
Shortly after midnight this morning, the Hoboken Police Department responded to Daniel’s Liquor store on the report of a burglary in progress.
As officers were responding to that location, they were advised that a man shattered a glass window to the establishment then fled from the scene. They were also given a description of the suspect who was seen leaving the area.
While searching the area, Sgt. Luke Zeszotarski and Officer Francis McCourt saw a man fitting the description walking in the area of 2nd and Court Street.
The two officers stopped him and as they approached him, they noticed multiple liquor bottles and cigarette boxes sticking out of the front pouch of his backpack.
While being processed, Rude began to purposely cough in the officers’ direction. During this time, he told them that he had bronchitis and COVID-19.
Based on this, officers attempted to place a mask on Rude, however he would violently bite them off each time. Once they were off he would continue to bite them into pieces.
Anytime officers would attempt to talk to Rude, he would pronounce his cough in their direction. He continued his uncooperative behavior to any commands and he refused to be fingerprinted or provide necessary arrest information, police said.
This behavior continued and officers were unable to safely fingerprint Rude, also destroying a saliva DNA swab by biting it, officials said.
A total of nine officers were exposed to his behavior.
Based on Rude’s statements regarding his health condition, he was transported to a local hospital. Once medically cleared, he will be transported the Hudson County Correctional Facility, police said.
Ultimately, officers recovered a total of $396 dollars worth of stolen items.
“This is the second time in six days that our night officers had to deal with a highly dangerous and unusual situation and were able to accomplish the task at hand and the apprehension without receiving serious injury,” Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante said in a statement.
“I am very proud of the work our men and women continue to do daily in dealing with this pandemic and the violent episodes that are occurring during it.”