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Man, 26, denies coughing on police

A grocery store worker has denied he coughed on police officers and that he told them he had “the coronavirus”.

Taahir Augustus, 26, pleaded not guilty in Magistrates' Court yesterday to two charges of assault on police officers.

Mr Augustus also denied charges that he rode a motorcycle while impaired by alcohol and that he refused a breath test.

It alleged that Mr Augustus coughed on the two officers as he was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.

The court heard that the two officers — and two others who came in contact with Mr Augustus at Hamilton Police Station — were later quarantined as a result of the alleged incident.

The incident was said in court to have happened on The Lane, Paget, on Monday night. Magistrate Khamisi Tokunbo adjourned the case until May 4 and released Mr Augustus on $3,000 bail.

Mr Augustus was also ordered to remain in his home for duration of the shelter-in-place order, except to attend work at the Arnold's grocery chain, where he is classified as an essential worker.

He was also allowed to leave home to shop at MarketPlace on Church Street on Wednesdays.

Mr Tokunbo warned: “If you are in violation of these conditions, your bail will be revoked altogether.”

The case was heard in an online sitting of Magistrates' Court on the Zoom app.

Mr Augustus appeared in court in person, but Mr Tokunbo, lawyers and court staff tuned in on a remote basis.

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Published April 17, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated April 17, 2020 at 8:59 am)

Man, 26, denies coughing on police

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