BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Since mid-March, police say seven people coughed or spit on police officers in Erie County during arrests.
On Tuesday, Erie County DA John Flynn announced that the following people would be charged for their actions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Darren Hamilton, 59, Buffalo
Hamilton was arrested after police say he was stealing from a gas station on Hertel Avenue and harassing a customer. While he was being arrested, police say he spit and coughed at the Buffalo Police officers, and made a statement indicating he was positive for COVID-91. He's charged with Attempted Assault.
Aisha Rodriguez, 47, Buffalo
Rodriguez was arrested for allegedly violating an order of protection. While being processed at Central Booking, police say she spat at three cell block attendants and made a statement indicating that she was positive for COVID-19. She's charged with Attempted Assault.
Alex Laboy, 24, Buffalo
Laboy was arrested in April in the Town of West Seneca. Police say he was intoxicated, resisted arrest, and refused to cooperate with an officer. While he was being arrested he allegedly spit at the officer. He's charged with Resisting Arrest and Disorderly Conduct.
Lindsey M. Schott, 27, Lancaster
Schott was arrested during a traffic stop. Police say while she was being questioned, she coughed toward the officer's face a number of times, and made a statement that indicated she was positive for COVID-19. Police say they found marijuana in her possession. She's charged with Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree, Possession of Marijuana, and Menacing.
Abdulla Abdalla, 21, Buffalo
Abdalla was arrested March 29, 2020 in the City of Buffalo. Officers said they smelled marijuana in his car. They say he refused to get out of his car, and as the officer tried to cuff him, he spat in the officer's face twice. He's charged with Obstruction of Governmental Administration, Harassment in the Second Degree, and Resisting Arrest.
Bryce F. Sortino, 25, Town of Tonawanda
Sortino was arrested in March in Buffalo. Police say he was being processed for a robbery charge when he spit on two Buffalo Police officers. He also allegedly made a statement indicating that he was positive for COVID-19. He's charged with Obstruction of Governmental Administration, Harassment in the Second Degree, and Resisting Arrest.
Jesse E. Baker, 35, Buffalo
Baker was arrested in the Town of West Seneca. While being arrested for an alleged DWI, police say he coughed on a police officer, and made a statement indicating that he was positive for COVID-19. He's charged with Driving While Intoxicated.
“By performing their duties to keep our communities safe and interacting with the public, police officers and first responders are at a greater risk of contracting this virus. Any person who intentionally coughs or spits at a member of law enforcement during this health crisis will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This behavior intentionally threatens the health and livelihood of our officers and first responders, and it will not be tolerated,” said Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn.