By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

PORTAGE, Ind. (CBS) — A man stood accused of battery to law enforcement Monday after police in Portage, Indiana said he claimed to have COVID as he coughed on an officer while being taken to jail.

Late Sunday night, police were called to the Country Inn and Suites hotel at 1630 Olmsted Dr. in Portage for a drunken man who would not leave.

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They learned that Yohinnest Herrod, 30, had been asked to leave a hotel room by another man because he was being loud and a child was present, according to a police report. The other refused to give Herrod his car keys because he was drunk and they got into a quarrel near the elevators – prompting a hotel staffer to ask Herrod to leave, the report said. But he refused to leave without his keys, the report said.

At the scene, Herrod constantly raised his voice, cursed, and was generally aggressive to officers, the report said. Alcohol was detectable on his breath, the report said.

Police apprehended Herrod and placed him in the back of a police vehicle to take him to the Porter County Jail, the report said. The officer who had been driving the police vehicle reported that Herrod repeatedly asked to be released from custody, and the officer told him he would not be released and he was going to the Porter County Jail, the report said.

While the report said Herrod had been placed in handcuffs, the officer reported that he unbuckled his seat belt and tried to get out of the police vehicle – while yelling at the officer and demanding to be let out. The officer reported he ignored Herrod.

At that point, the officer reported, Herrod said: “I have COVID. You have to release me,” and started “dramatically” coughing.

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The officer reported he told Herrod to quit coughing and opened the window of the police vehicle. Herrod again said, “I have COVID, officer,” as he leaned forward between the front seats and turned in the officer’s direction, the officer reported.

Herrod then coughed on the side of the officer’s face twice, prompting officer to raise his hand and swat Herrod’s head away, the officer reported. Herrod then leaned further toward the officer, who pushed him back to the back seat, the report said.

The officer then stopped the police vehicle and tried to get Herrod’s seatbelt back on, at which point Herrod tried to cough in his face again, the report said.

Herrod took off his seatbelt again before they got to the county jail, but did not try coughing on the officer again, the officer reported.

Before they got to the jail, Herrod also forced himself to throw up all over the floorboard of the police vehicle, the report said.

At intake at the jail, Herrod said he had several symptoms of COVID, and a nurse tried to give him a rapid COVID-19 test, but he refused, the report said.

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Herrod was accused of battery to law enforcement, resisting, law enforcement, and public intoxication.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff