Man charged for making claims he had coronavirus on bus

LEBANON, N.H. (AP) — A Vermont man accused of prompting an evacuation Tuesday on a public bus after making claims of having the coronavirus was arrested.

David Ladeau, 65, was charged with creating a false public alarm and disorderly conduction in New Hampshire, WPTZ reported.

Lebanon police said the Hartford resident was telling bus riders he “was infected with coronavirus” Tuesday. His statements caused a number of people to call the police, according to his arrest warrant.

Riders were evacuated shortly after but the bus company said Ladeau refused to get off. It is unclear if Ladeau has actually tested positive for the virus.

“He created a situation where, you know, people were extremely upset and fearful, causing a bus service to stop and be delayed for people to evacuate,” police chief Richard Mello said.

A woman who picked up the phone at a number listed for Ladeau said he wasn’t home and she didn’t know when he would return.

As of Tuesday, more than 25 people in the state have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

For most people, the coronavirus results in only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, or death. The vast majority of people recover.

Gov. Chris Sununu issued several executive orders Tuesday, a day after he banned both large public gatherings and dine-in service restaurants. The latter decision was made in part to prevent St. Patrick’s Day revelers from flooding into the state from Massachusetts, which enacted similar restrictions over the weekend, Sununu said.

Ladeau was released on bail and is scheduled to appear in a Lebanon District Court in July.