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Man arrested for allegedly spitting at two hikers, saying ‘I have COVID’

Massachusetts police on Tuesday arrested a person accused of spitting at two girls hikers who weren’t sporting face masks — and telling them he had COVID-19.

Hale Powell, 71, was charged with false risk of a organic agent and assault and battery for Saturday’s caught-on-camera incident on a mountaineering path in Ashburnham.



The septuagenarian pleaded not responsible at his arraignment later Tuesday — the place a choose ordered him to quarantine and get examined for the coronavirus, the Telegram & Gazette newspaper reported.

One of the two girls mountaineering on the path captured video of the encounter, displaying an aged man spitting at her after which saying “I have COVID. I’ve been tested positive.”

Ashburnham Police mentioned the person informed the hikers it was the “law” to put on masks and that they have been “irresponsible” for not doing so earlier than hocking a loogie their method and telling them they’d quickly be ailing.

A girl who was with the spitter could possibly be heard saying “Hale, Hale” within the footage, which cops mentioned helped establish their suspect, along with the handfuls of ideas they obtained from the general public.

Police Chief Larry Barrett mentioned Powell informed officers he didn’t have COVID-19 throughout the reserving course of.

Powell, who wore two masks to his arraignment, declined to touch upon the costs to reporters as he left court docket, repeating solely “Hi, how are you?” whereas strolling to his automotive, the native paper reported.

He didn’t instantly return a name from The Post Tuesday night time. He’s due again in court docket in January.

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