Police: Haverhill man spit in officer's face, claimed he had coronavirus

Christopher Zielinski

A Haverhill man who claimed to have COVID-19 spit in the face of a police officer after he was pulled over early Friday in Hampton, New Hampshire, police said.

Christopher Zielinski, 36, was stopped about 12:40 a.m. after police observed him speeding on Ashworth Avenue, according to a press release from the Hampton Police Department. 

Zielinski was arrested after “officers formed the opinion that Zielinski was under the influence of alcohol,” the press release said.

Zielinski resisted arrest and refused to get out of the vehicle, forcing officers to remove him, police said. 

Once officers managed to get Zielinski into a patrol car, the release said, “he began violently kicking the center partition. As an officer passed by the open rear window of the cruiser, Zielinski spit at the officer, hitting him in the side of the face and the eye with saliva.”

When Zielinski was at the police station, he told officers that he recently tested positive for COVID-19, causing "the officer who was spit on to be in fear that he was now potentially infected.”

Police later found Zielinski’s claim was false.

But it didn’t stop there. While in the booking area, Zielinksi reportedly caused “extensive damage to the interior of the booking room.”

When officers checked his background, they found Zielinski is a convicted felon. He had a knife when arrested.

Zielinski was charged with driving while intoxicated, speeding, resisting arrest, assault by prisoner, simple assault, criminal mischief (felony) and felon in possession of a deadly weapon.

Zielinski was transported to Portsmouth Regional Hospital for an evaluation and testing. He was released and taken to the Rockingham County jail, where he was held without bail pending arraignment in Rockingham Superior Court later that day.

Recommended for you