It's a new type of sick crime: Coughing on a cop.

That's what authorities say some perps have been doing to police officers across the state since the coronavirus pandemic turned into a public health state of emergency.

To show that law enforcement is not going to take it lying down, the state Attorney General's Office said Thursday that it intends to take over the prosecution of these cases and charge the suspects with making second-degree terroristic threats.

The added charge carries a potential prison sentence of five to 10 years in prison.

“We take all assaults on police officers seriously, but it is especially heinous for someone to spit or cough at an officer in an attempt to infect or threaten to infect them with COVID-19,” Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said in a written statement.

“Hundreds of officers across New Jersey are already infected with the virus, which, in many cases, they likely contracted by protecting and serving the public while on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19. We have zero tolerance for anyone who uses the coronavirus as a weapon or instrument of terror against officers bravely performing their duties during this health crisis.”

State Police Superintendent Patrick Callahan this week said that cops would also begin to ticket people who show up to parties or events — not just the organizers or property owners — in violation of the Gov. Phil Murphy's stay-at-home order.

David Haley, charged with coughing on a cop in March 2020. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Among those facing stiffer charges in the coughing cases is David Haley, 52, of Perth Amboy, who is accused of spitting on a Perth Amboy officer on March 21 during a domestic violence call. Police said Haley claimed to have been infected with the coronavirus.

He is now charged with second-degree terroristic threats during a state of emergency, fourth-degree aggravated assault on an officer, fourth-degree throwing bodily fluid at an officer, resisting arrest, simple assault and domestic violence.

Raymond Ricciardi, charged with coughing on a cop in March 2020. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Raymond Ricciardi, 51, of New Providence, also claimed he had the coronavirus when he coughed on police and medics during a March 25 domestic violence incident, police said.

Ricciardi is charged with second-degree terroristic threats during a state of emergency, fourth-degree aggravated assault on an officer and EMTs, resisting arrest, simple assault and domestic violence.

Marina Bishara-Rhone, 25, of River Edge, coughed on an officer responding to a domestic violence call on March 14, adding that she hoped that the officer got infected, officials said.

She is charged with second-degree terroristic threats during a state of emergency, second-degree false public alarm, fourth-degree aggravated assault on an officer, fourth-degree endangering and fourth-degree throwing bodily fluid at an officer.

Kenneth Wideman Jr., charged with coughing on a cop in March 2020. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Kenneth Wideman Jr., 30, of Flemington, yelled and coughed in the face of officers trying to arrest him on March 19, officials said. Police said Wideman also refused to wear a mask.

He is charged with second-degree terroristic threats during a state of emergency, fourth-degree aggravated assault on an officer, fourth-degree throwing bodily fluid at an officer, third-degree drug possession and other misdemeanors.

Vanessa Shaaraway, charged with coughing on a cop in March 2020. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Vanessa Shaaraway, 35 of Kearny, coughed on police and claimed she was infected with COVID-19 after she was caught shoplifting in Belleville on March 27, officials said.

She is charged with second-degree terroristic threats during a state of emergency, fourth-degree aggravated assault on an officer, two counts of third-degree throwing bodily fluids at an officer, third-degree resisting arrest, fourth-degree obstruction and fourth-degree shoplifting.

Jennifer Burgess, charged with coughing on a cop in March 2020. (NJ Attorney General's Office)

Jennifer Burgess, 35, of Plainfield, coughed on police and claimed she was sick after being pulled over March 16 in Dunellen.

She is charged with second-degree terroristic threats during a state of emergency, fourth-degree aggravated assault on an officer, third-degree resisting arrest, fourth-degree throwing bodily fluid at an officer, disorderly conduct and driving while intoxicated.

New Jersey 101.5 did not know Thursday whether any of the suspects had attorneys who could speak on their behalf.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email sergio.bichao@townsquaremedia.com.