A Boone County man, 34-year-old Andrew James Brown of Harrison, has been arrested following a domestic dispute in which he is alleged to have struck a police officer repeatedly in the face, while coughing at him and others saying he was COVID-19 positive.
Brown has been charged with felony counts of domestic battery, battery on a police officer and aggravated assault on a police officer, as well as a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest. According to the probable cause affidavit, Brown’s criminal record reflects 10 domestic battery charges on the same victim and two assault charges on a law enforcement officer within the year.
Officers responded to a domestic battery incident on the evening of May 28 along South Ash Street in Harrison.
A neighbor had contacted Harrison Police on behalf of the victim. She told law enforcement the victim was at her residence “bleeding profusely from the head and face.” After an assessment, law enforcement requested emergency medical personnel be dispatched to the scene.
The victim said she and Brown had a verbal argument that turned physical, with the Harrison man allegedly hitting the woman in the face multiple times with his elbow.
Officers found the front door locked to the residence where Brown was reported to be. The victim provided a key, allowing officers inside the residence where they reported finding Brown just inside the doorway holding a lit cigarette.
Brown reportedly refused to follow commands to get on the floor, with officers advising he was under arrest. When they attempted to place Brown under arrest, he allegedly jerked away and “threw several punches with a closed fist,” striking one of the officers in the face several times. The impact of one of the strikes broke the officer’s glasses, “as well as busting his upper lip with another.”
A Taser was employed, with Brown continuing to resist. Physical force was then used to gain control of the Harrison man and take him into custody.
At the Harrison Police Department, Brown told officers he had the coronavirus and repeatedly coughed in their faces. He wrestled with police and was taken to the floor, still attempting to cough on the officers. Despite a COVID-19 mask being placed on him, Brown reportedly used his free arm to remove it and coughed on the officers and items in the booking room.
His bond was set at $50,000.