An Auckland man accused of spitting on three police officers and claiming he had Covid-19 has tested negative for the infectious virus.
Superintendent Naila Hassan confirmed in a statement to the Herald today that the 30-year-old man does not have coronavirus.
If the alleged offender had tested positive to the virus responsible for a global pandemic he could have faced a charge of infecting with disease, which under the Crimes Act carries a maximum penalty of 14 years' imprisonment.
He has been charged with assault with intent to injure and resisting police and is due in court again next week.
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The three officers involved in the incident at a Silverdale property on Monday night are no longer in isolation and are returning to work, Hassan said.
"This was a serious incident which not only put our staff at significant risk but also took them away from policing our communities and away from their families for a number of days," she said.
"It is fortunate that in this instance the alleged offender tested negative, however, the outcome could have been far worse.
"We want to reiterate that it is not okay to act in this matter towards our staff and if you do, there will be serious consequences for your actions."
Police had been called to the property after a report of a family harm incident.
The 30-year-old man was arrested on an unrelated matter but when being escorted into the patrol car began allegedly lashing out with his feet, kicking the officers and vehicle.
He then claimed he was infected with Covid-19 and allegedly spat several times at the three officers.
The two police vehicles at the scene were also taken out of service as a result and were decontaminated, while the man was tested for Covid-19 on Tuesday.
The incident came after reports of people also spitting at a supermarket worker after a confrontation with a customer refusing to abide with Covid-19 restrictions.