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Florida man accused of coughing ‘toward’ deputy, claiming to have coronavirus after driving drunk: Deputies

23-year-old Christian Perez is facing multiple charges.
Credit: Martin County Sheriff's Office
Christian Perez, 23

MARTIN COUNTY, Fla — Pulling people over is potentially dangerous for law enforcement even when the world isn’t in the grips of a pandemic.

So, when a Florida man was stopped for driving recklessly – and said he had COVID-19 – a deputy took extra precautions.

According to a Martin County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post, the deputy gave 23-year-old Christian Perez a protective mask to limit his risk of exposure. But, the deputy said Perez took the mask off and began intentionally coughing in his direction.

“We have zero tolerance for this despicable behavior, and anyone who threatens the health and lives of my deputies will face the maximum charges,” Sheriff William Snyder said in the post.

The deputy managed to get the mask back over Perez’s mouth and put him in handcuffs.

According to the sheriff’s office, Perez is charged with assault on a deputy, threatening a public servant, driving under the influence and driving without a license.

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