Reports: 5 Dallas police officers sent home after arresting man who claimed he had coronavirus

Official: Suspect made claim to stay out of jail

Healthcare workers work on the preparation of evaluation swabs for coronavirus in a research laboratory. (Stefano Guidi, 2020 Stefano Guidi)

DALLAS – Five officers with the Dallas Police Department were given Monday off as a precaution after they arrested a man who claimed to have coronavirus.

According to media reports, the man told detention officers at the Dallas County Jail that he had the virus, which has increasingly raised concerns across the country, after he was arrested on an assault charge.

Parkland Hospital officials told the Dallas Morning News that they are monitoring the 24-year-old suspect out of caution.

The five officers were given the day off for “precautionary reasons,” police said in a statement to the newspaper, but they are expected to return for their next shifts.

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The officers came into contact with the suspect during a disturbance call at an apartment Sunday morning, CBS DFW reported.

The suspect was taken into custody and transported to a hospital for injuries during an assault, the station reported.

After he was treated for his injuries, he was released to police officers, taken to jail and charged with assault family violence.

Dallas police were notified of the possible coronavirus case around 10:30 p.m. Sunday, and the man was transported to Parkland Hospital via ambulance.

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Dallas Police Association president Mike Mata told the Dallas Morning News that the suspect made the claim to stay out of jail.

The man had no symptoms of the virus when doctors examined him, according to media reports.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement that there are currently no cases of the coronavirus in the Dallas County Jail.

Five squad cars that came into contact with the suspect were taken out of service for deep cleaning.

About the Author

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

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