Police: Woman spit Hepatitis A-infected blood in officer's face - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Police: Woman spit Hepatitis A-infected blood in officer's face

An East Texas woman was sentenced to prison for spitting hepatitis-infected blood into a police officer's face. An East Texas woman was sentenced to prison for spitting hepatitis-infected blood into a police officer's face.
SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

An East Texas woman was sentenced to prison for spitting hepatitis-infected blood into a police officer's face.

Tyler police said they were arresting 26-year-old Ashley Oman at Broadway Square Mall on an assault charge when she began resisting arrest, hit her face on the ground and started bleeding. After spitting blood at the officer, she was charged with harassment of a public servant.

On the stand Monday, Tyler Police Officer Donald Rutledge told the court about an assault investigation that lead him to the mall. He said, there he found the suspect, Ashley Oman, intoxicated and resisting arrest.

"The fight continued. She was forced to the ground. At that point, she continued to resist. At one point, I was able to get both of her wrists behind her back," explained Officer Rutledge.

Rutledge said Oman's face was bleeding and her nose appeared to be broken. Rutledge told the court that EMS was called to tend to Oman's injuries, but she became aggressive and spit blood on him.

"It was straight into my face. She was on my left side and most of it was here... face, the eyes, nose and mouth," he testified.

Oman shook her head "no," and mouthed to her attorney that she didn't have hepatitis. The prosecutor representing the Smith County District Attorney's office said the pre-sentencing investigation showed that according to Oman's medical records, she tested positive for Hepatitis A.

Prosecutors had asked for the maximum sentence of 10 years, but Oman's attorney argued for probation. Her attorney agreed that spitting on a police officer was "despicable," but said Oman struggled with drugs, alcohol and psychological issues from being abused.

When the eight-year-sentence was read aloud, Oman broke down in tears. The judge recessed the hearing so Oman could speak with her attorney and gather herself.

Since the incident, Rutledge said he has had a series of blood and liver tests done. He told the court that doctors are testing for Hepatitis A, an infectious liver disease. The officer said none of the tests have come back positive. As a precaution, he said he's required by the police department to be tested into next year.

Oman did have the right to appeal her sentence in the next 30 days, but she told the judge she didn't want to do that and waived that right.

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