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Prosecutors: St. Pete man charged with biological weapons hoax after spitting on officer, saying he had COVID-19

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida filed a criminal complaint against James Jamal Curry. He could face up to five years in federal prison.
Credit: Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A St. Petersburg man accused of spitting on a police officer and claiming he had coronavirus after his arrest is now facing a federal criminal complaint.

James Jamal Curry, 31, faces another charge for the incident: Perpetrating a biological weapons hoax. If convicted, he could face up to five years in federal prison.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida said the case is being investigated by the FBI along with the St. Petersburg Police Department, the Florida Department of Health, the State Attorney's Office and the Pinellas County Jail.

Police say Curry violated a no-contact order March 28 and showed up at the home he lived in with his girlfriend. He had been arrested the night before on domestic felony battery and false imprisonment charges.

RELATED: Florida man accused of spitting on officer during arrest, saying he has coronavirus

Police showed up to the home for the second time in less than 36 hours. When Curry was placed in the back of the cruiser, police say he spit on an officer while claiming he had COVID-19.

An arrest report also says Curry tried to kick out a window in the car and threatened to kill the officer, saying "I know where you live and I am going to come and kill you."

Following his arrest, law enforcement did a search warrant to test Curry for COVID-19. He tested negative. 

Officers say those close to Curry and jail personnel have not shown any symptoms of coronavirus.

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