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‘I’ve got the f**king virus’: Video shows Las Cruces man spit on officers trying to remove him from Walmart for no face mask

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- Newly obtained police body camera video from earlier this month shows a tense and disturbing scene unfolding at a Las Cruces Walmart.

On July 12, an employee of the Walmart on Valley Drive approached a Las Cruces police officer with concerns that a customer refused to wear a mask, according to police documents.

That customer, later identified as 77-year-old Charles Madrid, allegedly refused to comply with the officer's order to either wear a mask or leave the premises, as heard in the video.

"I'm not going to do it," Madrid says in the body camera video. "Put me in jail."

"If you choose not to, I'm going to have to ask you to leave," said Officer Jackson Brown, who maintained a calm and patient demeanor throughout the encounter. "If you refuse to leave, I'm going to have to trespass you."

"I've got the f***ing virus," Madrid says. "I'm going to spit in your face."

After wrestling to get the man in handcuffs, officers ultimately placed a spit guard on Madrid and took him into custody. In the video, he can be heard complaining about pain in his knees, so the officers took him to a local hospital.

"Don't worry, you ain't going to get that virus," Madrid can be heard saying in the video at the hospital. "It doesn't live in the summertime. It dies out like the flu."

Las Cruces police ultimately charged the man with three counts of assault on a peace officer in connection with the spitting incidents.

Article Topic Follows: New Mexico

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Kate Bieri

Kate Bieri is a former ABC-7 New Mexico Mobile Newsroom reporter and weekend evening newscast anchor.


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