Suspect Falsely Claims Virus To Police

OCEAN CITY — In a case becoming increasingly familiar, a local man facing assault and other charges last week falsely told police he was infected with the coronavirus, forcing officers to take serious and time-consuming containment measures.

Around 5:45 p.m. last Thursday, Ocean City Police Department (OCPD) officers were alerted by a female victim that she was being followed by a vehicle and wanted to speak to an officer. The alleged victim provided a description of the vehicle and told police it was still following her while she was speaking with officers.

OCPD officers located the female victim in her vehicle along with a male passenger. The victims reportedly told police the vehicle had been following them and they were afraid something bad was going to happen if the police did not intercede. OCPD officers located the suspect vehicle in the area of 141st Street and stopped it to investigate.

OCPD officers learned one of the passengers in the vehicle, Justin McCargo, 31, of Ocean City, was wanted on a warrant for his arrest. According to police reports, the officers ordered McCargo out of the vehicle to affect his arrest on the warrant, but he reportedly refused and resisted. After McCargo continued to refuse to cooperate and resisted attempts at arrest, an OCPD armed and pointed his conducted electrical weapon, or taser, at the suspect and he complied and was taken into custody.

During the arrest process, McCargo continued to resist, assaulting an OCPD officer in the process. When a transport van arrived to take McCargo in for booking, he continued to scream for help and tried to escape to the point OCPD officers had to force him to the ground and apply a violent prisoner restraint device, or VPRD on him.

During that process, McCargo allegedly kicked and injured another OCPD officer. According to police reports, while McCargo was being detained on the ground, he told OCPD officers “I have the virus,” and coughed in their direction. OCPD officers were instructed to don proper protective personal equipment while dealing with any individual infected by COVID-19.

OCPD officers determined McCargo had not tested positive anywhere in Worcester, Wicomico or Sussex County, Del. McCargo was charged with two counts of assault on police officers, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, violating state of emergency directives, resisting arrest and making a false statement to police.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.