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News Release
Miguel Hernandez-Cuesta
Miguel Hernandez-Cuesta
Tigard Officer spit on, coughed on by COVID-19 positive suspect (Photo) - 07/27/20

UPDATE: The suspect in this case has been identified as Miguel Hernandez-Cuesta, age 24. Booking photo is attached.

(Some outlets are reporting the exposed officer is a man. Please note: the officer who was directly exposed is a woman.)

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On July 26th, 2020 around 2:23 a.m. Tigard Police responded to the McDonalds at 11201 SW 72nd Avenue after employees reported a man fell asleep in the drive-thru and appeared drunk.

Prior to officers’ arrival, the man moved his car out of the drive-thru lane and into the lower restaurant parking lot. When officers arrived, they found a man passed out in the driver’s seat and partially hanging out of the driver’s side door, which was ajar. 

Officers could smell a strong odor of alcoholic beverage(s) coming from the car, which was still running. Officers instructed the man to turn off the car, but he put it in drive and rolled forward, nearly hitting a patrol car parked in front of him. Officers placed the man under arrest for driving under the influence of intoxicants and driving while suspended. 

In the course of the arrest, while Tigard Police officers were searching the man for weapons or dangerous items, he began coughing profusely and stated he had COVID-19. An officer asked him to stop coughing on them, but he turned his face toward the officers and proceeded to cough and spit on one of their faces while standing less than a foot away.

Staff at the jail later confirmed the man is, in fact, COVID-19 positive. He was booked on an additional charge of felony aggravated harassment. Based on his actions, it is our belief he acted knowingly in trying to expose the officer to COVID-19.

Officers who are victims during the course and scope of their duties have the same rights as any other community members, and we intend to assist the Washington County District Attorney’s office with any future prosecution for this intentional and unwarranted exposure beyond our routine day-to-day duties.

The officer was wearing a surgical mask and gloves at the time and is now under quarantine to monitor for any potential symptoms of the virus.

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Attached Media Files: Miguel Hernandez-Cuesta
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