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B&E suspect charged with assault after intentionally coughing on cops while sick: RCMP
VANCOUVER -- A Metro Vancouver man arrested for an alleged break-and-enter incident has also been charged with assaulting a police officer.
The man was picked up by Coquitlam RCMP in that city on Monday, after it was reported that someone had broken into the home of an elderly couple.
The seniors were home at the time, police said, though they were not initially aware of the break-in.
The RCMP said in a statement Wednesday that a rock was used to break a ground-floor window of the home. A small amount of cash and jewelry was taken, police say.
A photo of the recovered items, which were returned to the couple, shows two rings and a $20 bill.
The detachment says its prolific target team identified a suspect, who was arrested less than an hour after the break-in on Ashurst Avenue.
At that time, the arresting officers asked whether he was sick.
"We strive to be respectful even during an arrest, and with the new reality of COVID-19, we ask everyone that we're speaking with if they feel sick or have any symptoms," Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Michael McLaughlin said in the statement.
McLaughlin said the suspect told officers he was sick, and was told not to face those involved in his arrest.
"He allegedly turned his head towards three officers and purposefully coughed in their faces," McLaughlin said.
Because of the allegation, Tyson Helgason has been charged with assaulting a police officer.
The 24-year-old has also been charged with break-and-enter and theft under $5,000.
Helgason remains in custody, and is scheduled to reappear in court next week.