Edmonton man who said he had COVID-19 charged after coughing on bus driver, officers
EDMONTON -- An Edmonton man has been charged with assault after police say he coughed on a bus driver and transit peace officers in an attempt to intentionally give them COVID-19.
The man was riding an ETS bus near Southgate Mall Sunday at around 12:30 p.m. when he was reportedly involved in an altercation with another passenger, according to police.
The bus driver pulled over. That’s when police say the suspect entered the driver’s enclosure and repeatedly coughed on him, then coughed on transit peace officers, informing them he had tested positive for COVID-19.
The transit union says the man was showing visible COVID-19 symptoms when he got on the bus. Fellow passengers asked him to get off, and that's when the fight broke out.
"You know, a thing like this, if a person fits in the right demographics here, this can be a death sentence," said Steve Bradshaw, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union.
"[The bus driver] is deeply struck by this whole thing. I feel so bad for her. She has our totally support and whatever we can do for her, we want to do, but right now I'm just glad they caught this person and I'm glad that they charged him."
An Alberta Health Services spokesperson told CTV News they're working to confirm whether the man had even been tested, while EPS say they cannot yet confirm whether he had COVID-19.
Regardless, the bus driver and two peace officers are now self-isolating at home due to the man's "irresponsible actions," EPS said.
Daniel Black, 38, is charged with two counts of assault, assault of a peace officer and contravening an order of the Chief Medical Officer under the Public Health Act.
He’s set to appear in court on Tuesday, June 16.
The incident comes nearly a week after police encountered another man who told them he tested positive for the virus in an attempt to get away.
EPS is asking Edmontonians to adhere to public health orders by self-isolating if they are showing symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19.