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WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
A homeless man in the U.K. allegedly bit a police officer on the arm Thursday night, drawing blood and leaving marks after she tried telling him he was breaking COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, authorities said.
The officer was hospitalized for treatment and later released.
“It is absolutely disgusting that my officer was faced with this last night and all of our thoughts are with her as she rests at home,” said Superintendent Richard Hunt of the Greater Manchester Police.
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Christopher Hill, 29, also allegedly punched both the 21-year-old police constable who was bitten and another officer, the Greater Manchester Police said in a press release that included graphic pictures of the bite.
The incident happened on Thursday, when the officers were responding to reports of a man causing a disturbance in the town of Rochdale. When they tried speaking with him, he attacked them, according to investigators.
He faces two charges of assault by beating of an emergency worker and one count of criminal damage. He remained in police custody overnight for questioning.
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Superintendent Hunt asked the community to join him in wishing the officer a “fast and peaceful recovery.”
“She said that last night’s incident was a stark contrast to the support she has felt over the past few days, whilst she has been delivering Easter eggs to local children whilst out on patrol,” he said.
The department did not identify either of the officers.
Similar to many states within the U.S., the U.K. has issued health guidelines that encourage social distancing, self-isolation and staying at home as often as possible in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
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But the U.K. government’s social distancing rules specifically say, “Do not meet others, even friends or family.”
Citizens are instructed to only go out for things like shopping for basic necessities, taking a single walk or run for daily exercise and going out for medical or work purposes. People who do venture out are instructed to stay two meters apart, or about 6 feet, as in the U.S.
The U.K. had more than 74,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Friday evening, with almost 9,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers.
There were more than 491,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the United States and more than 18,000 deaths.