Man charged with criminal transmission of HIV after allegedly spitting on FF-medic

Police say the man repeatedly stated that he had HIV during the incident and spat "brownish-red" saliva onto the firefighter-paramedic's arm


Patricio G. Balona
The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A Daytona Beach man positive with HIV was accused of passing on the virus by spitting on a South Daytona firefighter-paramedic, police said.

Julio Rivera, 41, who was being investigated in a domestic violence case on Tuesday, was charged with criminal transmission of HIV, battery on a firefighter by way of spitting, domestic violence battery, resisting arrest without violence, fleeing and attempting to elude police, giving a false name, unlawful possession of molly/ecstasy, possession of drug paraphernalia, and grand theft.

Julio Rivera, 41, was charged with criminal transmission of HIV and several other offenses after allegedly spitting on a firefighter-paramedic. (Photo/Volusia County Corrections)
Julio Rivera, 41, was charged with criminal transmission of HIV and several other offenses after allegedly spitting on a firefighter-paramedic. (Photo/Volusia County Corrections)

Rivera was being held in the Volusia County Branch Jail on Wednesday without bail.

South Daytona police were called to a domestic disturbance at a South Palmetto Avenue home where Rivera's girlfriend reported being battered. Rivera then fled on a bicycle, police said.

An officer spotted Rivera and ordered him to stop but Rivera pedaled faster. The officer exited his patrol car and ran after Rivera, a report states.

Rivera rode through a busy intersection at Ridgewood Avenue and Beville Road but was caught shortly after. Police said they found the drug molly on him, and the suspect gave a false name.

Rivera then told officers he was HIV positive and made death threats against the officer's family, the report states.

The suspect then became unresponsive and fire paramedics were called in to help. When the paramedic tried to check Rivera's vitals, he became irate and spat on the firefighter-paramedic's arm, police said.

The firefighter-paramedic had brownish-red spit on his left forearm, a report details, and even after a "spit hood" was placed over his head, Rivera continued to forcefully spit, sending saliva mist through the hood, police said.

After spitting on the first-responder, Rivera reiterated that he had HIV, telling the paramedic "and yeah use them universal precautions, (expletive)," a report notes.

A doctor at Halifax Health Medical Center confirmed that Rivera is HIV positive based on previous medical visits, police said.

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©2020 The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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