Woman coughs in officer’s face after police bust party during ‘stay-at-home’ order

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Melanie Chambers (Courtesy/City of Andalusia FB)

ANDALUSIA, Ala. (WIAT) — An Alabama woman is facing multiple charges after hosting a party while Alabama is under a ‘stay-at-home’ order during the COVID-19 outbreak.

39-year-old Melanie Chambers was arrested and charged for violating the ‘stay-at-home’ order in addition to facing other drug charges.

Andalusia Police Chief Paul Hudson said the department received a complaint Monday night of loud music on Brewton Street.

“When officers arrived, they found a party of about 40 to 50 people,” Hudson said. “They also smelled an odor of marijuana.”

Officers made contact with the tenant who is currently renting the house, Chambers, who became irate with officers, Chief Hudson reports. Hudson said Chambers also coughed in an officer’s face and said something about COVID-19, the coronavirus currently causing a worldwide pandemic.

Officers obtained a search warrant and located numerous items of narcotics, including marijuana and drug paraphernalia, the police department reports. As a result, Chambers was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and violation of the state health officer’s current suspension of gatherings due to COVID-19.

Chambers’ total bond is set at $23,500. Hudson said the arrest marked the first time the Andalusia Police Department has charged someone with violating the state’s ‘stay-at-home’ order.

“We are handling this on a case-by-case basis,” Hudson said. “If participants refuse to comply with the order, we have to take steps to enforce it.”

Hudson also praised the officers who responded and handled the situation.

“Three officers initially responded, and they did a good job of keeping order and getting back-up,” he said.


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