A 28-year-old man has been sentenced to two years of probation after he coughed on the face of a Grapevine police officer then claimed that he had COVID-19 on April 3.
According to reports from Tarrant County, Jonathan Dechoudens received a sentence for Harassment of a Public Servant, a 3rd degree felony, at the Criminal District Court No. 396 in Fort Worth Thursday, Star Telegram reported.
The charges came after the incident occurred on April 3, 2020, just weeks after the coronavirus pandemic started in the United States, Star Telegram reported.
Dechoudens encountered the officer who had been on duty, sitting in a marked patrol unit at a parking lot on Northwest Highway in Grapevine at around 12:45 a.m.
The officer had his windows down and Dechoudens reported ran up to the driver’s side window and coughed in the officer’s face. He then claimed at the police officer’s face that he had coronavirus.
The unnamed officer feared that he had been exposed to the potentially deadly virus, so he called the other Grapevine officers and medics to screen Dechoudens.
Police said that once Dechoudens was declared free of COVID-19, he was arrested and booked into jail for making a terroristic threat. He was later changed then the charges was changed to harassment of public servant.
Dechoudens later claimed that he had been joking with the officer.
The officers later arrested Dechoudens and was booked into the Grapevine jail on a charge of terroristic threat.
After the incident, the Grapevine officer was declared free of symptoms, following several days of monitoring. His temperature was checked each shift, just like all the other employees who entered the Grapevine Public Safety Building.
At the time, the Grapevine police noted that anyone who claimed that they have the virus and tried to pass it off to someone else would be charged.