‘I hope you catch corona:’ Florida man accused of coughing on deputies, threatening to kill mom

DELAND, Fla. — A Florida man arrested in connection with a violent incident with his mother intentionally coughed, blew air and spit at the arresting deputy and “promised to bash his head with a hammer,” officials with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday, April 12.

The sheriff said Brent Smith, 45, came home intoxicated Saturday evening to the home he shares with his mother on Leon Avenue in DeLand, Florida. An argument ensued, and sheriff’s officials said Smith shoved his mother before grabbing a butter knife and screaming at her. Smith called his mother obscene names, and said, “I will kill you,” sheriff’s officials said.

When Smith’s mother tried calling for help, sheriff’s officials said Smith grabbed her phone from her hand. He was still holding it when deputies arrived.

As he was being arrested, sheriff’s officials said he began arguing with deputies, “coughing at them,” and making threats including “bashing your (expletive) brains in.”

While in the back of a squad, sheriff’s officials said Smith told a deputy, “I hope you die. I hope you catch corona. I hope the coronavirus, I hope it latches onto you,” before coughing and blowing air at the deputy.

Sheriff’s officials shared some body camera footage of the encounter with Smith.

He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery on a person 65 or older, tampering with a witness, robbery by sudden snatching, grand theft, assault on a law enforcement officer, corruption by threat against a public official and violation of probation on an original charge of aggravated battery on a pregnant person.

He was transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail with no bond.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.