“I have COVID:” Springfield man resists arrest while coughing on officers


WILBRAHAM, Mass. (WWLP) – A Springfield man was arrested on multiple charges after police received notice of people stealing large amounts of batteries from Home Depot.

According to a statement from the Wilbraham Police Department, at around 1:08 p.m. Sunday officers were to a report of suspects stealing batteries at Home Depot. A detective saw one of the suspects on Boston Road, 36-year-old Suquin Johnson from Springfield was arrested and charged with shoplifting.

The second suspect was seen leaving the parking lot of Home Depot driving a blue Toyota sedan. Police identified the driver as 38-year-old Robert Brown from Three Rivers. Brown allegedly refused to exit his vehicle. A second officer was called to assist in removing him from his vehicle. Brown continued to physically resist yelling “I have COVID” and purposely coughing towards officers as police attempted to detain him.

Brown was charged with:

  • Shoplifting by Asportation
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Assault and battery of a person over 60 years old

Asset protection told police that more than $300 worth of batteries were taken from Home Depot.

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