An NT police officer has allegedly been spat on in the face by a 20-year-old female in Palmerston overnight on Sunday, authorities said.
NT Police Watch Commander Senior Sergeant Mick Fields said the woman was arrested around 2am for allegedly displaying a disorderly behaviour in a public place and transported to the Palmerston Watchhouse.
“Once she was being removed from the rear of the vehicle. She spat into the face of a police officer,” Cdr Fields told ABC Radio Darwin.
“That female is now facing fresh charges of assaulting police, and she’s going to be held in our custody until she fronts the Darwin Local Court later today.”
Additionally, she was also charged with disorderly behaviour in a public place.
Cdr Fields said the assaulted police officer is undergoing disease testing and has been referred to an internal counselor.
In April last year, during the onset of strict coronavirus restrictions in the NT, Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced a new $5,495 penalty for anyone caught coughing or spitting on any worker in the Territory, with the intent of causing fear about the spread of coronavirus.
The NT Police has not mentioned anyone being fined to date for spitting on a Territory frontline worker.
Acting Superintendent Paul Faustmann has cited section 189A of the Criminal Code Act 1983 that assaults on police or emergency workers carry maximum penalties of imprisonment of 16 years.
“It’s a vile act, even more so when emergency service workers are out there, putting their lives on the line serving the community, they’re faced with that kind of behavior from members of the public, it’s outrageous.”
Last week, a female paramedic responding to a patient was allegedly kicked and punched to the head in the back of an ambulance by an alleged teenage drug addict also in Palmerston.
That assault followed another serious attack of paramedic staff in Alice Springs on February 14, where a paramedic was struck to the head by an object wielded by a patient and sustained soft tissue injuries to the head.