New York, NY – An HIV-positive suspect who said he spit into a Port Authority police officer’s mouth intentionally during his arrest on Monday was released from custody without supervision while awaiting trial.
The suspect spat into the mouth of the police officer from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department (PAPD) while he was being arrested for larceny at La Guardia Airport on Jan. 6, WCBS reported.
PAPD officers managed to take the suspect into custody and transport him to the police station at the airport but then he started fighting with them.
Police said that the suspect spit into the mouth of the PAPD officer while he was resisting them and told the officer he was HIV positive, WCBS reported.
Lab tests later confirmed that the suspect did in fact have HIV.
He was charged with second-degree assault on a police officer and criminal mischief, according to WCBS.
The Queens District Attorney’s Office asked the judge to release the suspect on his own recognizance but with supervision.
However, the judge released the suspect until trial without supervision.
“That suspect should have been charged with attempted murder,” a furious New York Police Department (NYPD) official told Blue Lives Matter. “He knew he had HIV and the told the officer so. He was attempting to transmit a deadly disease.”
A Texas man with AIDS was sentenced to 12 years in prison in January of 2019 for spitting on a Killeen police officer, according to the HIV Justice Network.
“The sad thing about it is that I’m actually surprised they drew up felony assault charges for it,” the police source added.
The union that represents PAPD officers was outraged and blamed New York’s new bail reform laws that did away with cash bail in most cases, WCBS reported.
“Absolutely ridiculous!” PAPD Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Paul Nunziato ranted. “The number one responsibility of government is to protect the people; bail reform relinquishes government of that responsibility.”
“My police officer was assaulted, he and his family will live a life of worry about the possibility of further harm. History will repeat itself and hard-working New Yorkers will once again be hostages in their own homes,” Nunziato predicted in a written statement.
PAPD officials said the officer who was injured is a newlywed, WCBS News reported.
He is awaiting the results of tests and undergoing treatment for possible exposure to HIV.