NJ woman charged with lying about coronavirus after coughing on cops
HANOVER — Well, that backfired.
Police in Hanover say a drunk-driving Wayne woman lied about having the coronavirus after she proceeded to cough on the cop who busted her.
In addition to the DWI offenses, 28-year-old Lea Piazza was also slapped with a charge of causing a false public alarm after causing three police officers to go into needless quarantine for the remainder of their shift, police said.
A police officer who responded to the single-car crash on Thursday said he detected the odor of alcohol. Piazza was arrested and ticketed for DWI, careless driving and reckless driving.
While she was being processed, Piazza repeatedly coughed on the officer, who asked her to stop because of the coronavirus outbreak, police said.
Piazza reportedly told the officer: “Oh, by the way, I have the coronavirus and so do you."
The officer informed his supervisor and police tried to get more information out of Piazza, who told them that her boyfriend had been diagnosed with COVID-19 in New York.
"A thorough investigation into Ms. Piazza’s comments was conducted and all pertinent people involved were spoken to including Ms. Piazza’s boyfriend and her comments were proven to be 100% false," the police department said Tuesday. "She would later admit this as well."
Police said the officers were in quarantine for about six hours before they realized the truth.
They said that after Piazza was released and sobered up, she called the department and apologized.
New Jersey 101.5 could not find a way to reach Piazza for comment on Tuesday night.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.