West New York man coughs on police officers during arrest, claims he has COVID-19

The Secaucus Police Department charged the man with terroristic threats during an emergency

To curtail the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Phil Murphy has issued a stay-at-home order to all residents and other social distancing measures. However, not all Hudson County locals are following the rules.

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Colonel Patrick J. Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, recently announced enforcement highlights from the last week of April, including coughing and spitting assaults and bias incidents, and noteworthy violations of Murphy’s executive orders.

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“We’re cracking down on those who jeopardize public health and undermine public safety,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We have zero patience for those who spit on cops, gouge prices, or try to exploit this pandemic for their personal gain.”

Julio Pineda, a 41-year-old from West New York, was arrested on May 2 by the Secaucus Police Department. Pineda was arrested on charges of second-degree terroristic threats during an emergency, throwing bodily fluid at a law enforcement officer, and disorderly persons offenses of shoplifting, obstruction, and violating the emergency orders.

Pineda was initially arrested for shoplifting and obstruction at Home Depot. At the police station, the situation escalated.

COVID-19 terroristic threats

“I have coronavirus, you are all going to [expletive] die,” Pineda allegedly said.

He then began coughing into the air. When an officer tried to calm Pineda down, he allegedly coughed multiple times at the officer, who was in close proximity.

Colonel Patrick Callahan shared a stern message to all residents to who choose to endanger others during the pandemic.

“Those who choose to ignore the law and selfishly place others at risk will face swift law enforcement action,” Colonel Callahan said. “Although law enforcement and medical professionals are on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19, we are ultimately winning the war because of the extraordinary resolve and fortitude of New Jersey citizens who are doing their part day in and day out, abiding by the executive orders and sacrificing for the greater good.”

Attorney General Grewal also announced enforcement actions targeting price-gouging, consumer fraud violations, and alcoholic beverage control violations.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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