Man disguised as nurse arrested for spitting at grocery staff

Man disguised as nurse arrested for spitting at grocery staff
A Walloon man in his thirties entered a Delhaize shop dressed as a nurse and began spitting on staff, telling them he had the coronavirus. Credit: Google Street View

Police have arrested a man in Wallonia for dressing up as a nurse and spitting at supermarket staff while telling them he was infected with the new coronavirus (Covid-19).

On Wednesday, the unidentified man entered a Delhaize supermarket in the Walloon city of Wavre acting as though he had symptoms of the virus and spitting at staff.

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A police patrol arrived on site and had to put a mouth mask on the detainee because he was not cooperating, according to 7sur7.

Public prosecutors in the Walloon Brabant on Thursday said the man was born in Wavre in 1983 and that he was known to law enforcement.

He is set to appear before a criminal court on 25 May as his file will be put through an accelerated procedure, risking two years in prison and a fine €1,600.

The man’s arrest comes after national criminal authorities made spitting or pretending to have the coronavirus a crime punishable by up to 3 years of jail time and a fine of over €2,000.

In contexts where spitting involved food, offenders risked up to five years in prison and a fine that could climb up to €16,000.

The changes come after reports emerged that people were using spit or the coronavirus against police in the light of the current pandemic, which has killed hundreds of thousands throughout the world.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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