Coronavirus: Auckland man who allegedly claimed to have COVID-19 then spat on police officers named

An Auckland man who allegedly claimed to have COVID-19 before spitting at three police officers can now be named as Hemi Beattie. 

The accused later tested negative for the virus.

The 31-year-old has entered not guilty pleas to three charges of attempting to infect a police constable and one of assault. 

Beattie will reappear in court in June. 

Police were called to Beattie's Silverdale address last month and he was subsequently arrested. 

However, when officers tried to put him in the car, he's alleged to have lashed out, trying to hit and kick them while claiming he had tested positive for coronavirus.

He is then alleged to have spat at the three police officers multiple times.

All three officers were placed in isolation and two police cars had to be decontaminated, a police spokesperson told Newshub.

The alleged assault is one in a series of coughing and spitting incidents around the country since the coronavirus outbreak arrived on our shores.

Eight police officers and a Defence Force staffer have all had to enter mandatory self-isolation after being spat on, along with frontline health workers and members of the public.

Such offences are dangerous because COVID-19 is transmitted most effectively by droplets, like those found in saliva.