Man coughs on staff, threatens to burn down pharmacy

A man has been charged after he demanded a weekend’s supply of methadone from a pharmacy and then spat and coughed at a staff member

Glasgow Police have issued a report into the incident which occurred in early May, in which the man when to a Glasgow pharmacy and, ignoring social distancing guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic, demanded that staff give him methadone for the full weekend.

“When this was refused, the man became verbally abusive towards the pharmacy staff,” says the report, which was submitted to Police Scotland after the man sustained a serious injury when in police custody.

“He left the pharmacy but returned a short time later and spat and coughed at a member of the pharmacy staff.

“A member of the public within the pharmacy took hold of the man and removed him from the premises.

“The man threatened to shoot the member of the public and burn down the pharmacy premises.”

After police officers arrived and arrested the main, he told them that he had coronavirus.

He was handcuffed and placed in a police van, where police say that he deliberately struck his head on a seat, cutting his forehead, and then striking himself in the head with the handcuffs, causing further injury.

Following treatment in hospital, he was released into police custody.

The matter was then referred to the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner, and an investigation found the injuries were self-inflicted and that the police response was proportionate and necessary.

It also concluded that, “His behaviour was extremely concerning and distressing for the pharmacy staff” as well as the arresting officers, “Given the current COVID-19 crisis”.

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