A St. Petersburg man has been indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office after police say he threatened to spread COVID-19 by coughing and spitting on officers.
James Jamal Curry, 31, is charged with perpetrating a biological weapon hoax and faces up to five years in federal prison.
Court documents show that on March 27, St. Petersburg police officers went to a home on a domestic violence call involving Curry. During his arrest, he turned to an officer, said “I got the corona,” and coughed on the officer’s arm. Curry was later released on bond.
Police went to the home again on March 28 and arrested Curry a second time for violating a court order. During this arrest, he spit on an officer multiple times, hitting her in the face, nose and inside her mouth with blood-filled saliva, according to documents. Curry again claimed to have the coronavirus, laughed, and announced that he was spreading the virus around.
Curry later tested negative for COVID-19.
He is still in the Pinellas County Jail and also faces several local charges.