THREE police officers have been assaulted in Ceredigion in the past week, with offenders spitting and coughing in their faces.
Two men involved in the incidents have been jailed for their abusive behaviour towards Dyfed-Powys Police PCs in Aberystwyth.
The first incident took place while officers were trying to help a man who needed medical attention.
Police were called to Aberaeron at 5.20pm on June 4 following a report of an unconscious man on the floor in North Road.
On officers’ arrival, four paramedics were at the scene treating Nathan Newman, who was believed to be under the influence of alcohol and illegal substances.
Throughout his treatment, the 18-year-old was abusive towards ambulance service staff and was behaving in an aggressive and threatening manner.
Inspector Rhys Jones said: “His condition improved and he appeared to have calmed down, so he was helped to his feet by a PC.
“Without warning he suddenly spat in the officer’s face, with saliva going in the PC’s eye.
“He was immediately arrested and a spit hood was put on him as he continued to spit while on the floor.”
Two PCs arrived to provide support, and put Newman in leg restraints as a result of his continued threatening behaviour.
Despite restraints, the offender continued to lash out and make threats towards officers.
At 5.40pm, he was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker and was taken to hospital for medical treatment.
Insp Jones said: “On the way to the hospital, he managed to take off the hood, before spitting repeatedly across the back of the police van.
“His abusive behaviour continued, and he shouted that all he could do was spit, give officers a ‘horrible disease’ and ‘hope they die’.
“This is a completely unacceptable way to behave towards officers who had been called to help when he needed medical attention.”
Newman was charged with assaulting an emergency worker and criminal damage, which he admitted at Swansea Magistrates’ Court on Friday, 06 June 2020.
He was sentenced to 32 weeks in prison.
On Wednesday, June 10, police were called to the Co-Op store in Penparcau, where a man had run off with a charity box and a purse after being found in the staff room.
Officers stopped Christopher Jones, of First Avenue, a short distance away as he matched the description given by staff.
He was found with cash and a bank card in someone else’s name, and was arrested on suspicion of burglary.
While in the back of a police car, Jones turned towards the PC sitting next to him, he had Coronavirus and coughed in his face.
The 41-year-old was charged with burglary and assaulting an emergency worker and appeared at Swansea Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, June 11, where he pleaded guilty.
He was sentenced to 28 weeks in prison.
Insp Jones said: “We will not tolerate assaults or abusive behaviour towards emergency service workers, who are carrying out their duty to protect the public.
“In both these instances, officers were left fearing their health might suffer as a result of an offender’s appalling behaviour. Nobody should be made to feel this way while carrying out their work.”
An officer was also spat at while booking a woman into custody on June 8.