Police hunt Banchory teenager who coughed on healthcare worker

  • Published

Police officers in Aberdeenshire are hunting a teenager who deliberately coughed on a healthcare worker and told her she would catch coronavirus.

The incident happened in Banchory at about 13:40 on Friday.

The woman had been driving on the road from Inchmarlo golf course to Brathens Wood after finishing a shift when she saw someone sitting on the ground and waving to attract her attention.

When she stopped, the teenager came towards her and coughed in her face.

Police say he then ran off into nearby woods laughing.

The suspect is described as aged between 13 and 16, of slim build, about 5ft 6in tall with a local accent. He was wearing a light grey hoodie, a black jacket and black or dark blue joggers.

This incident is being treated as assault.

Police Scotland tweeted to say officers had been made aware of several similar incidents across the country.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Appealing for witnesses, Sgt Garry Garrow, of Banchory police station, said: "This kind of behaviour is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated. It left the woman distressed and fearful.

"I am appealing to anyone who saw what happened to get in touch, particularly if they saw this youth before or after the assault, or know who he is.

"I would also ask parents to remind their children that this kind of behaviour is more than just a prank, it can cause genuine fear and increased anxiety in the current climate.

"Officers will not tolerate anyone behaving like this and take robust action to find those responsible."

Meanwhile, police in Paisley said they had fined three men for leaving their homes without a reasonable excuse.

Officers have been given increased powers to restrict people's movements during the coronavirus lockdown.

A building site in the town has also been closed as it was carrying out non-essential work.

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