16 Apr 2020

Man charged for spitting at police

10:40 am on 16 April 2020

A man has been charged after spitting at police officers while trying to escape arrest.

Police were called to a central Hamilton supermarket Wednesday around 11.30am after the man had been suspected of shoplifting.

The 20 year old tried to flee after being arrested and then spat at officers while being detained.

He has been charged with common assault, escapes custody, theft and wilful damage.

Inspector Andrew Mortimore said spitting at members of the community - including police officers - would not be tolerated.

"Behaviour where people spit at members of the community including police officers will not be tolerated. While rare, such behaviour is highly concerning and potentially extremely dangerous."

He said while police recognised the pandemic was a challenging, stressful time it did not excuse criminal behaviour that put others at risk.

The officers involved in the incident yesterday have received support and medical advice but have not had to go into self-isolation.