Senator Kristin Corrado is calling for legislative action to advance her bill that would increase the statutory penalties for those who threaten to infect others, including police officers and grocery workers, with COVID-19 during the State of Emergency. “Individuals who cough and spit on law enforcement officers while claiming they have coronavirus are frankly deplorable and disgusting,” said Corrado (R-40). “Further, even if that person is not infected, their actions may require victims to leave their jobs and quarantine from their loved ones until they are tested. If they are sick, they may actually be putting the lives of others at risk. The penalties I have proposed are an appropriate and thoughtfully strong punishment for this uncivilized and dangerous behavior. I am calling for an immediate vote on my bill that will properly punish those who threaten to infect police officers, essential workers, and others with COVID-19.”
Corrado’s legislation, S-2361, would clarify that is it a second-degree crime to make credible threats to infect another with COVID or a similar infectious disease that has triggered a public emergency.
A crime of the second degree is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $150,000, or both.
On April 30, a Gloucester County woman claiming to have COVID-19 spit on a police officer. Last month, a Monmouth County man purposefully coughed on a grocery store employee, stating he had coronavirus.
“To those who think it is cheeky to pull a sick prank like this – you will suffer the consequences of your poor decisions,” added Corrado. “These threats will not be taken lightly, and those found guilty will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”