Coronavirus Man Sentenced for Spitting in Face of Police

Police officers wearing a face mask stand guard in front of the Nantes railway station, on March 26, 2020 in Nantes, following the arrival of a medicalized TGV high-speed train carrying patients infected with the covid-19 from eastern France, where hospitals are overwhelmed. (Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP) (Photo …
LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images

A homeless migrant-background man has been sentenced to two years in prison after spitting in the face of a French police officer and claiming to be infected with the Wuhan coronavirus.

A French court sentenced 39-year-old Isam Driouech to two years in prison. Driouech, along with his Moroccan migrant partner, had been involved in two robberies before his arrest that took place last month in Montauban.

The two men gathered on the evening of the 18th of March and at around 8 pm robbed another homeless man after Mr Driouech pulled out a knife and demanded his bank card, La Depeche reports.

Driouech claimed in court that the man had willingly given over his possessions and that the victim had mental health problems.

Around midnight, the pair came across an 18-year-old homeless man who they also robbed at knifepoint. The second robbery was caught on CCTV, and when confronted with the footage, Driouech claimed he had been drunk and had not slept for three days.

He also claimed not to have remembered spitting in the face of an arresting police officer and telling the officer that he had tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus.

While the prosecution wanted four years for the 39-year-old and two years for his Moroccan partner, the court sentenced Driouech to two years and his partner to a six-month suspended sentence.

France has seen several spitting attacks on police officers since President Emmanuel Macron introduced the lockdown measures in mid-March.

Late last month, a woman in the commune of Longjumeau was sentenced to seven months in prison for not only spitting at officers while saying she had coronavirus but calling the officers “dirty whites” as well.

Attacks on police have not stopped under the lockdown measures in some of France’s more “vulnerable” suburbs. For several nights, youths around the country have attacked police and rioted, with some areas such as Yvelines seeing officers attacked nearly daily for weeks.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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