Just weeks after a Dallas court controversially handed down a 35 year prison sentence to an HIV-positive man for spitting at a police officer – with the jury finding his saliva to be a weapon – a second HIV-positive Dallas man has been charged with aggravated robbery, after allegedly biting a security guard as he was detained for allegedly stealing a pack of sausages from a supermarket.
Paul Thibodeaux, 26, who remained in custody Friday morning, has been charged with aggravated robbery, the Dallas County sheriff's office said. His bond was set at $100,000. The aggravated robbery charge is more serious than a robbery charge because the suspect used “his infection as a weapon,” said Dallas police Senior Cpl. Kevin Janse.
At least the story, in The Dallas Morning News, includes some information from the Dallas County Health Department on how HIV is transmitted.
Man claiming HIV is accused of biting Kroger guard during scuffle
Friday, May 30, 2008
By EMILY TSAO / The Dallas Morning News
A man claiming to have HIV is accused of trying to steal sausage from a Kroger store and biting a security guard during the robbery.
Paul Thibodeaux, 26, who remained in custody Friday morning, has been charged with aggravated robbery, the Dallas County sheriff's office said. His bond was set at $100,000.
The aggravated robbery charge is more serious than a robbery charge because the suspect used “his infection as a weapon,” said Dallas police Senior Cpl. Kevin Janse.
Mr. Thibodeaux is accused of putting a $4.79 package of Holmes Smokehouse sausage in his pants and walking past the cash register without paying, Cpl. Janse said. The incident occured Wednesday evening in the 4100 block of Cedar Springs Road.
A security guard confronted Mr. Thibodeaux who then kicked and punched the guard, Cpl. Janse said. During the scuffle, Mr. Thibodeaux bit the guard twice, puncturing the guard’s skin.
At some point, police learned that Mr. Thibodeaux may be HIV positive, but that claim has not been substantiated, Cpl. Janse said.
Earlier this month, an HIV-positive man was sentenced to 35 years in prison for spitting into the eye and open mouth of a Dallas police officer.
Willie Campbell was convicted of spitting in the face of Officer Dan Waller during an arrest in May 2006.
Advocacy groups for people with AIDS have said the sentence was excessive. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other medical experts have said that no one has contracted the virus from spit.
The Dallas County Health Department has issued a statement about HIV transmission that read: "HIV is usually spread by sexual contact with an infected person, by sharing needles with someone who is infected, or by transfusions with infected blood products." The statement went on to say that the "U.S. Public Health Service guidelines determines the risk of HIV transmission from such fluids as saliva and tears to be extremely low."