Florida man who spit, coughed on police officers after claiming to have the coronavirus indicted on federal terrorism charges

A Florida man who spat and coughed on a police officer after claiming to have COVID-19 was indicted on federal terrorism charges.

A federal grand jury in Tampa returned the indictment Wednesday against James Jamal Curry, 31, for committing a biological weapon hoax, a local CBS affiliate in Miami reported.

Curry had previously been charged by criminal complaint last month and could face up to five years in prison if he is convicted.


His attorney, Samuel Landes, argued in an email obtained by CBS Miami that prosecutors are stretching a law that is meant for terrorists, calling Curry's case a standard law enforcement confrontation.

"The United States Attorney's position, in this case, would make each of the millions of COVID-19 patients 'in possession' of a biological weapon," Landes said.

Law enforcement had responded to a domestic violence call involving Curry on March 27, according to court documents seen by the CBS affiliate.

While Curry was being arrested, he said he was infected with the coronavirus and coughed on an officer's arm, according to law enforcement.

Curry bonded out of jail for his first arrest, and police were later called back to the same residence he was arrested at the day before.

Curry was arrested again and spit on an officer multiple times, laughing and saying that he was spreading the virus as blood-filled saliva reportedly hit the inside of an officer's mouth.

Police obtained a warrant to test Curry for the virus, which resulted as negative for COVID-19.