US: Pennsylvania judge hands down extra 2-4 year sentence to prisoner with HIV who ‘spat blood’ at guards


HIV-infected Inmate who spits blood at gueards gets more time.

July 17, 2015
Source: The Times Tribune

An HIV-infected county inmate who tussled with guards and spit blood at them got jail time Wednesday in Lackawanna County Court.

Judge Vito Geroulo sentenced X of Scranton to two to four years in state prison for simple assault and two counts of reckless endangerment, all misdemeanors.

On the morning of Oct. 20, 2014, X lay in his bunk at the Lackawanna County Prison while correctional officers conducted bed checks. When the defendant did not respond, the door was opened in order to examine him.

X, 48, sprang from the bed and attacked the officer, pulling him into the cell. The prisoner then held him down and struck him in the torso. When another correctional officer arrived to help, X, who was bleeding from the face, spit at the pair until he was handcuffed by several other responding guards.

Once subdued, the defendant began to “smirk” and chanted, “Now you’re all infected with AIDS,” according to the criminal complaint.

The two guards who were splattered with blood performed an “extensive” cleanup on themselves and went directly to the hospital.

The county refused to comment on the health status of the two correctional officers due to HIPAA regulations, spokesman Joe D’Arienzo said.

Standing in court Wednesday in magenta prison clothes and shackles, a calm X said he struggles with anger issues, which cause him to explode “like a gun.”

His attorney, Bernard Brown, told Judge Geroulo that his client wants to take responsibility for his actions and is remorseful. X struggles with several mental health disorders, he added.

The defendant’s mother,  X, also spoke before the judge, asking for leniency and saying her son had been born with “brain damage.”

But Judge Geroulo noted the defendant has a long criminal history both inside jail and out, starting in 1992.