West Midlands Police have charged a man with assault following claims he spat and coughed at shop staff in Stetchford while shouting “I’ve got coronavirus”.

Police officers were called to the B&M store located at Stechford Retail Park at 3.45pm on Wednesday 25th March 2020 after reports that a suspected shoplifter had been detained in the car park.

Mehdi Razmdideh, from Nansen Road in Saltley, is accused of stealing two beard trimmers and then deliberately coughing in the faces of security staff.

It is also alleged the 35-year-old – who was assessed by a nurse and deemed not to be infected with Covid-19 – threw stones at store staff during the incident.

Detectives arrested Razmdideh at the scene and later charged him with shoplifting and assault.

The suspect is due to appear at Birmingham Magistrates Court today.

Detective Inspector Mark Longden, said:

“Retail staff are being asked to work and support our communities during this extraordinary time.

“We are committed to supporting essential workers and anyone suspected of jeopardising their safety will be dealt with robustly.”

Anyone who has any information relating to this incident please contact collision investigators at West Midlands Police or via Live Chat. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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