Police: Fillmore DUI suspect coughs on deputies, nurses, says he has COVID-19

Ricardo Roman Rodriguez. Photo Courtesy: Millard County Sheriff's Office

FILLMORE, Utah, Oct. 25, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Police say a Fillmore man suspected of DUI coughed on deputies and nurses, saying he had COVID-19, during a blood draw.

A probable cause statement from the 4th District Court of Millard County said Ricardo Roman Rodriguez, 33, is facing charges of:

  • Aggravated assault by prisoner, a second-degree felony
  • Assault by prisoner, a third-degree felony
  • Assault/threat of violence on healthcare provider/EMS, a second-degree felony
  • 3 counts of assault on a peace officer in uniform, a class A misdemeanor
  • Assault/threat of violence knowing person is a peace officer, a class A misdemeanor
  • DUI, a class B misdemeanor
  • Interfering with an officer, a class B misdemeanor
  • Refusal of chemical test, a class B misdemeanor
  • Disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor
  • Failure to operate within a single lane, an infraction

According to the PC statement, the arrest took place Saturday about 11:05 p.m., when the arresting officer was dispatched to an area near the cemetery in Fillmore at 350 E. 600 South on the report of a vehicle which had crashed through a fence.

“Upon arrival, I observed a 2009 white Dodge Journey with a temporary plate in the sage brush,” the arresting officer wrote. “I knew the sole occupant and driver to be Ricardo Rodriguez, who was passed out in the driver’s seat. While checking his medical state, I could smell the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from Ricardo’s person. While checking Ricardo’s pulse and breathing, he began to wake up, slurring heavily for me to shut the f— up.”

The arresting officer asked him if he’d been drinking, “to which he giggled stating ‘f– yeah’ and ‘I f– up,'” the statement said.

After he stepped out of the vehicle, Rodriguez became “very violent,” allegedly screaming profanities and fighting the three deputies as well as fire and medical personnel, the statement said.

“Once Ricardo was under control and placed in restraints, we stood him up and walked him the patrol vehicle,” the officer wrote. “At the vehicle, he began to fight again, refusing commands to get in the truck causing us to have to force him into the vehicle. Once in the vehicle, he began slamming the leg restraints we had to use to restrain him due to the size of his wrists against the window, attempting to break it.”

Rodriguez continued to struggle and one of the officers tased him twice, the PC statement said.

Police say Rodriguez was then take to Fillmore Community Hospital, where he allegedly refused to submit to a blood draw. A warrant was obtained and the blood draw continued,  according the arresting officer

“Ricardo continued to refuse to cooperate with medical staff, by pulling away abruptly and trying to stand up when the nurse would try to insert the needle. After Ricardo pulled away from the nurse on the first attempt to draw blood, it was explained that refusing to comply after the warrant was obtained and shown to him that he would be charged with another crime.

“Also while attempting to draw blood, Ricardo loudly stated he had COVID and began intentionally coughing in the faces of the nurses, myself and others that were near him,” the officer said.

“While escorting Ricardo out of the hospital, he began to fight again and attempted to head butt a known off-duty deputy that is also a member of the fire rescue crew in the face as we were escorting him past to put him back in the transport cage to be taken to the jail.”

Police say Rodriguez attempted to kick another deputy during the booking process.

Rodriguez’ bail has been set at $33,460.


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