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Man claims he may have COVID-19, then coughs on deputies, police say

SHARE Man claims he may have COVID-19, then coughs on deputies, police say
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SALT LAKE CITY — A Vernal man claimed he may have coronavirus and purposely coughed on police officers and told them they and their families were going to die, according to police.

Earl Brent Jordan, 33, was charged Monday in Duchesne County’s 8th District Court with making a threat of terrorism, a second-degree felony; willful introduction of a communicable disease, a class A misdemeanor; DUI, a class B misdemeanor; and drinking in a vehicle, a class C misdemeanor.

The incident happened Saturday night when Duchesne County sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a reckless driver “swerving all over the road,” according to a police affidavit. Deputies found the vehicle and noted that Jordan had “a strong smell of alcohol coming off his breath” as well as a 12-pack of beer in his car and an open container in the driver’s seat, according to a police affidavit.

Jordan failed his field sobriety tests and was arrested for investigation of DUI, the affidavit states. When he arrived at the Duchesne County Jail, “he was saying that he has been around people who have been tested positive for (coronavirus) and he had the symptoms ... He then started coughing” on three deputies, the affidavit states.

“Earl Jordan told me that now we all would have (coronavirus) and all of our families are going to die,” according to the affidavit.

While conducting a breath test, Jordan purposely blew into the faces of the deputies nearby, the affidavit states. When he actually completed the test, his blood alcohol level was measured at 0.243, or nearly five times the legal limit.