Suspect coughs at deputies, says 'I hope you catch corona'

Staff Writer
Walton Sun

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DELAND, Fla. (AP) — A suspect in Florida facing charges of battering his mother coughed and blew at deputies while he was being arrested, telling them he hoped they caught the new coronavirus, authorities said Sunday.

Deputies were called to a home Brent Smith shares with his mother on Saturday night after she said he shoved her several times, grabbed a butter knife and threatened to kill her, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

As deputies took him into custody, Smith, 46, threatened them and then coughed and blew at them from the back of a patrol car, saying, "I hope you die. I hope you catch corona. I hope the coronavirus, I hope it latches on to you," the sheriff's office said.

Smith faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery on a person 65 or older, tampering with a witness, robbery by sudden snatching, grand theft, assault on a law enforcement officer, corruption by threat against a public official and violation of probation on an original charge of aggravated battery on a pregnant person.

He was being held in jail without bond.

Online court records on Sunday showed no attorney listed for Smith.