Arrest of Marco Costa for allegedly coughing on police officers after claiming to have Coronavirus

Kearny, NJ - On April 6, 2020, at approximately 1:04 am, Kearny Police officers responded to the area of Kearny Avenue and Dukes Street on a citizen’s report of a man attempting to enter parked vehicles by trying their door handles. Officers located Marco Costa, 28, of Harrison, nearby. Subsequent to further investigation, Costa was arrested.


During his search incident to arrest, Costa allegedly told officers, “I have Corona,” before turning his head and coughing in the direction of the searching officer and then in the directions of two back-up officers. All officers were wearing N95-style masks at the time of the arrest. None of the officers required medical care as a result of the incident.

Costa was charged on a warrant with five counts of Criminal Attempt Burglary in the third degree [N.J.S.A. 2C:5-1a (2C:18-2a)]; three counts of Throwing Bodily Fluid at a Law Enforcement Officer in the fourth degree [N.J.S.A. 2C:12-13]; Terroristic Threats in the second degree (during a period of declared national, State, or county emergency) [N.J.S.A. 2C:12-3a]; Possession of a Hypodermic Syringe, a disorderly persons offense; and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (a rubber tourniquet and a mirror), a disorderly persons offense.

Costa was transferred to the Hudson County Correctional Facility to await his first court appearance.

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Kearny Police Headquarters


       Tel: (201) 998-1313
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237 Laurel Avenue

                Kearny, NJ 07032

External photo and news credits to Barbara Goldberg, The Observer, nj.com, News12 NJ, and RLS Media.