A man arrested Tuesday for robbing a store while carrying a machete also is accused of threatening to transmit COVID-19 to police and first responders while spitting on them.

Officers were called around 10:40 a.m. Tuesday to Family Dollar, 2302 N. Sheridan, on the report of a robbery. The suspect came into the store and tried to take a large speaker on sale. When he was confronted by a store employee, the man took off with it and once in the door’s threshold, he waved a machete at the staff, according to the incident report by Sgt. Rick Hollebeke. He was “slashing the air” before making his escape.

The man was noticed by a Lawton Public Schools Police Officer in the area of Southwest H Avenue and Sheridan Road and he called for LPD to assist in approaching him, the report states. When told he was under arrest, the man requested that an ambulance check his condition because he was short of breath, Hollebeke said.

While police assisted the ambulance personnel, the man spit on one officer. According to the report, he was taken to Comanche County Memorial Hospital for medical clearance because he said he had COVID-19. He remained combative with the staff and officers and continued spitting at anyone present. Hollebeke said he threatened an officer by saying “he was going to get a shotgun and blow his head off. … also threatened to transmit COVID-19 to officers present.”

After being released by medical staff, the suspect was booked into jail for robbery, threats and transporting bodily fluids on a police officer. It is unclear if he was screened for the coronavirus.

Along with being the columnist of Soundemonium Musaic, Scott Rains is also a police, fire, Native Affairs and roller derby reporter for The Lawton Constitution.

You can email him at: scott.rains@swoknews.com.

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