PATERSON, NJ - Two members of the Paterson Police Department had to undergo decontamination and begin self-isolation after a suspect they arrested reportedly told them he had coronavirus and proceeded to cough in their vicinity.

According to Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale the incident took place on Monday when the detectives conducted an investigation into alleged narcotics distribution at 367 Knickerbocker Avenue.

Arrested was Mohd Danoun, 45, of Paterson who was said to be found selling 46 grams of marijuana and 54 Oxycontin pills to a 38-year-old man, who was also arrested. Police also seized more than $16,000 in cash during the arrest.

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During the arrest the alleged buyer made the statements about being infected with COVID-19, and was found later to have been recently hospitalized with pneumonia. EMTs from the Paterson Fire Department were notified and informed that they could not transport the suspect to the hospital unless he was displaying symptoms.

Speziale said the two detectives are currently not showing any symptoms.

“In addition to being on the frontline during this Coronavirus crisis, our police officers are still sweeping our streets of the scourge of drugs,” Mayor Andre Sayegh said following the arrests.

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