Police: Woman coughs on officer who shut down birthday party

April 22, 2020 GMT

ANDALUSIA, Ala. (AP) — Police charged an Alabama woman with violating the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order after she hosted a party at her home and coughed in the face of an officer who came to shut it down.

Melanie Nicole Chambers, 39, hosted the party on Monday night for one of her children, reported. When officers arrived to break up the soiree after they got a call about loud music in the area, Andalusia police said she became angry and told the responding officers to “worry about other things.”


Police said Chambers then asked the nearly 50 party-goers if they had coronavirus before she purposefully coughed on an officer. This resulted in a charge of criminal assault with a bodily fluid, but Police Chief Paul Hudson has since said her actions don’t meet the standards for that charge.

This is the first time Andalusia police charged someone with violating the state’s stay-at-home order that limits public gatherings to 10 people, Hudson said. As of Wednesday morning, the state’s Health department said there are 5,327 coronavirus cases and 144 deaths from the virus in Alabama.

Chambers was also charged with several drug charges after officers said they found controlled substances during a sweep of her house. Her bond was set at $23,500.

It was not immediately clear if she had a lawyer who could comment on her behalf.