CLEVELAND — A 32-year-old Cleveland man has been indicted on federal charges for allegedly lying about having COVID-19 and then coughing and spitting on authorities following an arrest in March.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Walter Ray Poindexter is charged with false information and hoaxes.
On March 14, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority police officers responded to a trolley Downtown for a man who appeared to be intoxicated, authorities said.
When officers arrived, they identified Poindexter and placed him under arrest after they learned he was wanted on an outstanding warrant in Franklin County.
Once at the Cuyahoga County Jail, Poindexter told officers he had trouble breathing and was infected with coronavirus, authorities said. When officers tried to carry Poindexter into the facility, he allegedly coughed on the officers and then later coughed on a jail nurse.
Poindexter was then transported to MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland where he tried to cough and spit on paramedics, police and hospital staff, according to authorities. He is also accused of spitting directly in the face of a paramedic who moved him from a gurney to a hospital bed.
Poindexter later tested negative for COVID-19.
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