Altercation with teenagers left woman in her 70s with a black eye
British police have arrested three teenagers for allegedly “coughing” in the faces of elderly people as the world battles against the deadly coronavirus pandemic.
A passerby attempted to intervene after witnessing the teens’ actions, and the ensuring “altercation” left a woman in her 70s with a black eye, police said.
Officers say the three young men, aged 19, 18, and 16, approached a couple in the street in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, on Friday afternoon, and allegedly “coughed at them.”
Following the incident on Friday afternoon, the three teenagers were questioned on suspicion of actual bodily harm, affray, and criminal damage.
Hertfordshire Police reported that the elderly woman was admitted to the hospital for a check-up over her injury and later discharged.
The incident in Paynes Park also left her vehicle damaged, police said.
The incident occurred after the UK Government warned that walking within six feet of an elderly or vulnerable person could put them in mortal danger of getting coronavirus.
A man who intervened in the brawl also suffered bruising, police added.
The suspects were questioned but later released under investigation.
The force called for anyone with information to contact them.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivered a stern warning to Britons during his daily coronavirus press conference on Sunday, urging people to stay at least six feet – or two meters – away from one another even in outdoor spaces.
It came after thousands of people were pictured congregating in parks, at beauty spots and on beaches across the country, despite the Government’s advice.
Hundreds of people have now died of COVID-19 in the UK.
On Sunday, an 18-year-old who suffered from underlying health problems becoming the youngest victim.
On Monday night, strict new curbs on life in the UK to tackle the spread of coronavirus were announced by the prime minister, effective immediately, as the country is placed on virtual lockdown.
People may only leave home to exercise once a day, to travel to and from work where “absolutely necessary,” to shop for essential items, and to fulfill any medical or care needs.
Shops selling non-essential goods have been told to shut and gatherings in public of more than two people who do not live together will be prohibited.
As of Tuesday morning, the UK death toll has reached 335.
If people do not follow the rules police will have the powers to enforce them, including through fines and dispersing gatherings, PM Johnson said in a televised statement from Downing Street.