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Arrest sends officers to hospital, as precaution

A routine traffic offense and subsequent stop by police over the weekend ended with the driver facing felony assault charges and the two officers making a trip to a local emergency room.

Farmington resident Harold B. Cline, 33, is charged with felony assault after he allegedly spit in the faces of two officers while they attempted to arrest him following a traffic stop on Liberty Street on Saturday.

According to police records Cline was first arrested for driving while revoked, a fact which was discovered when officers ran a license check. When they started to place him under arrest he reportedly resisted and spit on one of the officers. Part of the saliva went into the officers eye. Cline was then subdued and another attempt was made to handcuff him. While he was placed in cuffs, he reportedly spit in the eyes of the second officer in the process.

While such acts of resistance are not uncommon, a phone call made to the county jail a short time later is was prompted county Prosecutor Wendy Wexler-Horn to file the felony charge. A caller indicated that Cline may have Hepatitis C.

Horn requested Cline submit a blood sample for testing. He agreed, and the sample was taken into evidence to be sent to a lab for analysis. Had Cline not agreed to the test a search warrant could have been sought demanding the sample be given.

Reports showed that while Cline resisted arrest, he did not carry out any other major physical attack on officers.

Cline was processed at the county jail. The two officers visited an area emergency room to have their eyes flushed out. Both officers submitted blood samples for testing, but any signs of hepatitis could be six months from showing up.

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