Two men charged following COVID19 threats

COVID-19 Graphic.jpg

Two men have been charged, following separate incidents in Canberra City yesterday afternoon (Friday, 27 March 2020).

About 3pm yesterday a man was asked to leave a City premises. He allegedly refused and shortly after spat on a number of tables, allegedly making a statement that he was infected with COVID-19 and now everyone else at the premises would have to be tested.

Shortly after, the 57-year-old Hackett man was arrested by police and charged with acting to cause public alarm.

About 8pm yesterday a man became irate with staff at a second City premises. He allegedly coughed towards staff and continued to do so through gaps in shutters closed by the staff.

The man, a 28-year-old from O’Connor, was arrested by police and charged with acting to cause public alarm.

There is no information to suggest either man is infected with COVID-19 or has had contact with any infected person. 

Both men will appear in the ACT Magistrates Court today (Saturday, 28 March 2020).

Police are reminding the community that threats involving COVID-19 will be treated seriously and penalties, including jail time, can be imposed.

Media enquiries

Police Media — (02) 5126 9070, act-police-media@afp.gov.au