A woman was arrested on Friday after allegedly attacking a healthcare worker at a Covid-19 testing site in Paterson.
Ayxa Roldan, 19, of Paterson, was arrested and charged with aggravated assault on a healthcare worker. Aggravated assault on a healthcare worker charge is similar to the offense someone gets charged with after attacking a police officer or a firefighter, according to police.
On Friday at about 10:30 a.m., Roldan, covering herself in a blanket, was waiting in line to be tested for Covid-19 at the Board of Health mobile testing site at the intersection of Madison and Ellison Street, near the Walgreen’s pharmacy.
The healthcare worker, seeing the blanket, asked Roldan if she was sick. Roldan angrily replied “no,” according to the police report of the incident. An argument ensued and the healthcare worker, a nurse, turned away. Roldan allegedly struck the back of the healthcare worker’s head with an open hand.
It’s not clear why Roldan became aggressive. Health official said sick patients are prioritized at the testing sites.
“We usually prioritize those that are ill and take them aside to be tested. In this way we reduce exposure to those that are not ill, but are on line to get tested. The City employee on our testing team was doing her job and trying to reduce risk of infection while getting people tested,” said health officer Paul Persaud.
Roldan was held at the scene until police arrived. She was arrested and taken to the police station and processed. She was released on a summons complaint, said police.
The nurse refused medical attention. She continued to work to get residents tested for the new coronavirus.
“We’re going through an extremely difficult time with this pandemic. People are out there providing assistance to those in need. This is no time to attack those that are trying to help people,” said public safety director Jerry Speziale. “There’s just no excuse to try and attack a healthcare worker that’s trying to help someone. That’s what they are there for. They are there to help people not to hurt them.”
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