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Drunken Man Spit in City Cop's Mouth, Police Say

Indiana man charged with aggravated assault; officer treated for pathogen exposure, according to Bethlehem police.

An Indiana man is facing multiple charges after he spit in a police officer’s mouth as he tried to fight off arrest for public drunkenness in South Bethlehem late Friday night, according to court records.

The officer-victim was admitted to St. Luke’s University Hospital and treated for blood-borne pathogen exposure, police said.

Jose Antonio Perez-Santiago, 48, was initially found by police lying in his own vomit in the middle of the street on the 700 block of E. Fourth Street at a little after 11 p.m., according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The affidavit described Perez-Santiago’s appearance as “highly intoxicated.” He had “a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath, severely slurred speech, bloodshot, glassy eyes” and could not stand up on his own, police said.

Police called an ambulance, but Perez-Rodriguez, who lives in the Chicago suburb of Hammond, Ind., refused, even after his sister arrived and tried to calm him down, police said.

Police then tried to take him into custody and Perez-Rodriguez’s resistance became violent, according to the affidavit. He tried to bite and kick at officers even after he was put on the ground, police said.

One of the officers, Samuel Del Rosario, was giving Perez-Rodriguez verbal commands to stop when the defendant spit in the officer’s face, the affidavit said. The spit landed in Del Rosario’s mouth and on his chin.

Perez-Rodriguez ultimately was taken to the hospital. But on Tuesday afternoon, he was formally arraigned before District Judge Nancy Matos-Gonzalez on charges of aggravated assault, simple assault, resisting arrest, harassment and public drunkenness.

He was committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $250,000 bail.

David J. Bhaltazhar Esq. December 12, 2013 at 04:48 PM
That's a terrible shame.

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