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Flagstaff, Coconino County Cracking Down On Threats To First Responders

City of Flagstaff

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The City of Flagstaff is cracking down on those threatening to intentionally expose first responders to the COVID-19 crisis. Officials say in appropriate cases where a first responder is intentionally and directly exposed to the virus, such as being spit on by a person making such threats, the prosecutor’s section of the city attorney’s office will work with the Coconino County Attorney’s Office to pursue felony charges for aggravated assault on a health care worker or law enforcement officer, as the situation dictates. Additionally, the city prosecutor’s section has coordinated with the Flagstaff Police Department to encourage filing disorderly conduct or threats and intimidation charges where appropriate when the officer has not been directly exposed, such as via saliva, but has been threatened with exposure during the course of a lawful encounter with a person. Flagstaff Police say there have been two cases recently, one of which the suspect stated he was COVID-19 positive and then intentionally coughed in officer’s faces. The suspect has been charged in the incident.