COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A 44-year-old Columbus man has been charged after allegedly spitting into a Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) bus driver’s face after claiming to be infected with COVID-19 coronavirus.
Walter Caldwell, of Bryden Road, Columbus, has been charged with assault and misconduct involving public transportation system.
According to Columbus Police, Caldwell was intoxicated and acting disorderly on a COTA bus Saturday at approximately 8:10 p.m. at North High Street and East 11th Avenue.
After allegedly shouting obscenities, the driver ordered Caldwell to leave the bus. At this point, Caldwell allegedly claimed he had COVID-19 and spit directly into the driver’s face, police said.
As a precaution, the driver began an immediate 14-day quarantine, a COTA spokesman said Sunday.
Caldwell was detained and charged by police.
On Saturday, COTA mandated that starting April 15, all riders will be required to wear a face covering of some kind. The masks can be medical, homemade, scarves or bandannas. They must be secure and must cover the nose and mouth.