Arrested man on assault charges as police anxiously await results of medical tests

Three Auckland police officers were subjected to a horror night on duty after a man allegedly spat blood in their faces.

The three now face a nervous wait for blood tests to see if they have contracted any bloodborne illnesses after the grisly incident.

Two officers were detaining a man near Middlemore Hospital - where he had earlier been treated for injuries suffered during an alleged domestic incident - late on Friday night when he is said to have sucked blood out of an arm wound and spat it on the officers.

A police source said the man was initially arrested after an incident in Papakura. He suffered severe cuts to his arm after it went through a window during an alleged dispute with his wife and mother-in-law.

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An ambulance took him to Middlemore Hospital where doctors bandaged the wound. But before the cuts could be stitched up, the source said the man walked out of the emergency department.

Two constables - one male, one female - spotted the man wandering the streets and he was re-arrested.

"After they put him back in the car, he pulled his bandage off and sucked the blood out of his wound, because it hadn't been stitched up, and spat blood all over the officers' faces," the source said.

The man was restrained and taken back to Middlemore Hospital.

However, once there he again ripped off the bandage and allegedly spat blood from his arm into the face of another police officer who was guarding him in a room.

"The officers will get blood tests done next week, tests to check that nothing is wrong," the source said.

It's understood hospital officials are unable to provide police with the defendant's health information, including whether he has any illnesses, because of privacy laws.

A 31-year-old man appeared in the Manukau District Court yesterday on four assault charges - including two on police officers - as well as property damage and threatening to kill.

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During his appearance he supported his arm and briefly sat on the floor. He was given interim name suppression, and will reappear in court tomorrow.