Woman bailed after ‘cough, spit attack’ on cop
A woman accused of spitting at police after claiming she was speeding through south west Sydney to get tested for coronavirus has been granted bail.
A court heard that Hannah Ayoub was behind the wheel of an Audi and driving along Greenacre Road in Greenacre on Friday afternoon when she caught the attention of police.
It is alleged the unemployed 25-year-old drove at 120 km/h in a 50 km/h zone before turning left onto Waterloo Road.
Police allege Ayoub then drove through a red light, swerved across unbroken lines to overtake another car and turned right in Macquarie St.
With a Traffic and Highway Patrol car on her tail, Ayoub allegedly ignored a stop sign before coming to a stop in heavy traffic on Roberts Road.
A police officer approached Ayoub and placed her under arrest but she allegedly refused to get out of the car.
When she was physically removed from the car, she was handcuffed and allegedly claimed she on her way to be tested for COVID-19.
Police will allege that footage of the dramatic arrest, which has gone viral on social media, shows Ayoub coughing in the police officer's face before spitting at him.
In the footage Ayoun allegedly spits on the officer, who can be heard telling her to stop.
Ayoub can then be heard telling the officer to let her go so she can call her lawyer.
After Ayoub is placed on the ground, she can be heard pleading with a bystander to help her with her hijab which had been dislodged.
Ayoub was charged with several offences, including assault police, drive recklessly and speeding.
Her matter was mentioned in Parramatta Bail Court today but she did not appear by AVL as she was undergoing treatment in hospital.
Defence barrister Tom Hughes said Ayoub had serious psychological issues, including post traumatic stress disorder and depression.
The court heard Ayoub, who also suffered chronic pain and back injuries from an earlier car accident, also told the officer that her brother had coronavirus.
Mr Hughes described yesterday's arrest as a collision of circumstances and a situation that was compounded by genuine anxiety of both the community and the police.
"This woman has not been tested positive and nor has her brother been tested for coronavirus," Mr Hughes told the court.
However the police prosecutor said Ayoub knew she hadn't been tested for the virus and that added to the callous nature of her behaviour.
The arresting officer had to wait for his test results to ensure no virus or disease was transmitted.
"That is another officer off the streets for two weeks at a time when the community certainly needs them," she said.
The magistrate granted Ayoub's bail on the conditions she adhered to a strict curfew at her parents' home, not drive and come up with a $5000 surety.
Outside court, Mr Hughes said he hoped the fact Ayoub had not tested positive to COVID-19 would give police some comfort.
"She said things which one assumes were the product of heightened anxiety and stress explicable by reference to diagnosed psychological problems," he said.
The case was adjourned to Bankstown Local Court on June 17.
EARLIER: Woman's 'cough, spit attack' on cop after roadside arrest
A woman will face court today after being charged with allegedly coughing and spitting on a police officer after telling them she was on her way to be tested for COVID-19.
Police alleged when officers from the Traffic and Highway Patrol unit tried to stop an Audi on Greenacre Rd, Greenacre on Friday evening, its driver allegedly "accelerate away at speed".
Police allege the woman who was driving while disqualified hit speeds of at least 120km/her in a 50km.hr zone before turning left on Waterloo Rd.
"The Audi was allegedly seen disobeying a red traffic signal at the intersection of Mimosa Road before crossing unbroken lines to overtake a vehicle and turn right into Macquarie Street," police allege.
"After allegedly failing to stop at a stop sign, the Audi turned right into Roberts Road and stopped in heavy traffic."
Police said an officer who had been following the car approached the vehicle before speaking to the car's 25-year-old driving.
The woman was placed under arrest, but police allege she refused to get out of the car.
"She was physically removed and handcuffed, claiming she was on her way to be tested for COVID-19 before allegedly resisting and repeatedly coughing in the officer's face," police said.
"The woman was escorted to the police vehicle, and as the officer reached inside, she struck her head against the vehicle window and allegedly spat at the officer.
She continued to resist despite a warning from police and was physically restrained on the ground after again spitting in the officer's face."
Footage of the incident was captured by witnesses in which a police officer can be heard telling her to stop.
The woman can then be heard telling the officer to let her go so she can call her lawyer.
After the woman is placed on the ground, she can be heard pleading with a bystander to help her with her hijab which had been dislodged.
The woman later taken to Bankstown Police Station where she was charged with drive recklessly/furiously or speed/manner dangerous, motor vehicle exceed speed more than 45 km/h, drive motor vehicle during disqualification period, and assault officer in execution of duty.
She was refused police bail and will face Parramatta Local Court today.
"Police will not tolerate being spat at in any climate, let alone the one we're facing right now. It's as simple as that," Assistant Commissioner Corboy said
Originally published as Woman's 'cough, spit attack' on cop after roadside arrest