Suspect claims to have COVID-19 to avoid jail

Kelly Hakel

Kelly Hakel (Courtesy: Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office)

RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn.(WKRN) – Rutherford County deputies were isolated after arresting a suspect who claimed to have COVID-19.

Reports show that several deputies responded to her home Monday after her son, Timothy Wilson, said his mother pulled a rifle on him during an argument.

According to officials, 57-year-old Kelly Hakel was tested and the deputies were isolated away from their families and co-workers for two days until the woman’s COVID-19 test results showed she is negative as a precaution.

 “Due to the incredibly serious nature of the health crisis, and the potential severity of this particular virus, any threats to purposely transmit Covid-19 to first responders will not be tolerated,” Lowery said. “There are a number of state statutes, and federal laws that will allow for prosecution regarding persons making threats upon public safety officials, public health officials, first responders, and to the general public.”

Hakel allegedly gave a false report about the location of the rifle before surrendering the rifle.  She began resisting arrest and screamed, “I have the coronavirus. Do you want it?”

EMS paramedics took precautions and transported her to St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital for testing. Hakel was arrested on charges of aggravated assault, making a false report about the rifle and resisting arrest. She was separated from other inmates and staff as a precaution.

Police say, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at this time at the Rutherford County Adult Detention Center.

“Two days later, her results returned negative, indicating her report was false,” Lowery said. “Following verification of the false report, she was charged for making a false report, a Class C felony.”

Hakel was arrested again Thursday on the second charge of making a false report. She was released and is scheduled for court on May 25th.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )

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