The coronavirus has given criminals a new deadly weapon: saliva.
Spit-slinging sickos are declaring they are infected with COVID-19 and spraying their targets with sneezes, coughs or sputum.
“Bitch, now you have coronavirus,” Jason Mason, 28, told four NYPD officers last Wednesday as he spit on them from inside a holding cell, police said. Cops said he was collared after being caught with a knife in a suspected drug deal.
In a possible hate attack, three Hasidic teens purposely sneezed on Muslim firefighter Omar Sattar in Borough Park last month, The Post learned. Sattar tested positive nine days after the incident, which was never officially reported to the police by the FDNY.
City correction officers and federal law enforcers have also come under fire.
“I got the virus, I don’t give a f–k. I got ‘rona, suck my d–k,” one inmate said before spitting on guards in a city jail, a source told The Post.
A Borough Park man claiming to have the virus coughed on FBI agents investigating him for hoarding medical supplies, the US Attorney’s office said earlier this month.
The feds took a hard line on the disturbing trend in a recent letter to law enforcement officers and US attorneys across the country.
“Because coronavirus appears to meet the statutory definition of a ‘biological agent,’ such acts potentially could implicate the Nation’s terrorism-related statutes,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen wrote. “Threats or attempts to use COVID-19 as a weapon against Americans will not be tolerated.”
While the federal government goes as far as recommending felony charges in COVID-19 spit attacks, the NYPD has so far taken a much softer approach.
A March 20 message sent to all commands suggests an unclassified misdemeanor charge: “[issuing] a summons for NYC Health Code 11.31 (a) (2).”
The guidance also gave officers the option to arrest and give desk appearance tickets to those who intentionally cough or spit on cops.
FDNY members, meanwhile, have complained they’ve been given “no instructions on dealing with populaces who are trying to infect us,” a department source told The Post.
He termed it “being assaulted with germ warfare.”
A state lawmaker introduced legislation earlier this month to ensure perps who purposely spread COVID-19 and other communicable diseases are charged with a Class E felony, which carries a sentence of up to four years in jail.
“Intentionally spreading a communicable disease to anyone, let alone our heroes on the front lines is a heinous act that can not be tolerated,” said Long Island Assemblyman Mike LiPetri. “Under this legislation, anyone who thinks they can deliberately transmit coronavirus and get away with it will be held accountable — plain and simple.”
The NYPD refused to say how many summonses have been issued or arrests made for intentionally trying to infect others.
“The NYPD takes these incidents very seriously and these actions have a real impact on our officers,” spokeswoman Sgt. Jessica McRorie said. “Depending on the facts and circumstances, an individual could be charged with harassment, menacing, reckless endangerment or assault on a police officer.”
Additional reporting by Dean Balsamini