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Royal Oak man accused of stabbing friends, spitting on police


Mike Martindale   | The Detroit News

Royal Oak — A 22-year-old Royal Oak resident is facing multiple charges after allegedly stabbing two friends and assaulting responding police officers.

Brandon Newberry is jailed on a $50,000 bond and facing a July 10 hearing after the Friday night incident at his apartment during which he also allegedly coughed and spit at police and said he had COVID-19 and HIV.

“It was worse than it sounds,” Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue said. “And it's not over for the officers. They have received treatment but will require follow-up examinations for months.”

Police received multiple 911 calls about 11:30 p.m. from neighbors who reported a woman had been assaulted and they could hear screams from the address. Officers found a female victim who had been stabbed in the hand and a man who called police after he was stabbed in the forearm.

The woman said she had driven from Flint to “hang out” with Newberry for the week and they had met up with another friend that night at a bar.

She said the three went back to Newberry’s apparent where for unspecified reasons, he became enraged and attacked both of them with a knife outside and inside the apartment.

According to policeNewberry barricaded himself inside the apartment on the 2500 block of Rochester and was eventually found hiding inside a shower.

Police said Newberry resisted officers’ efforts to take him into custody, was verbally abusive and intentionally defecated on the arresting officers.

After Newberry was handcuffed, he tried to launch himself off the balcony and tried to intentionally fall down the stairs, according to police. Newberry spit at and kicked officers as they attempted to escort him to their patrol car, police said.

Newberry was transported to the station and remained combative, trying to spit and intentionally cough on the officers, according to Sgt. Rich Millard. While in the elevator, Newberry intentionally coughed on an officer before he could put a spit mask on him.

In the hallway of the cellblock area, Newberry intentionally kicked over buckets that were collecting water from the leaking roof. After being placed in a cell, Newberry promptly removed the spit mask and tried to choke himself with it. Officers approached the cell, and Newberry put his mask into the toilet water and then threw it at the officers, hitting one in the face.

Newberry exclaimed throughout the incident that he was trying to infect the officers with HIV and COVID, according to police. The officers will be tested for exposure.

Newberry then tried to drown himself in the toilet, police said, and was transported to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak for treatment. His two alleged victims were treated and released and the officers involved were also treated for their exposure.

“To say the officers involved in this incident showed tremendous restraint would be an understatement,” O’Donohue said. “They are both tough guys and can, quite frankly, handle some physical abuse, but the potential of the HIV and COVID exposure is going to cause a tremendous amount of anxiety for them and their young families.”

Newberry has been arraigned with two counts of false exposure to a harmful substance, a felony that carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, and two counts of felonious assault with a dangerous weapon, a felony that carries up to four years in prison.

He is also charged with one count of assault/resisting and obstructing police, a felony with a two-year prison penalty.

Police said Newberry’s criminal history includes convictions for assault and battery; malicious destruction of property; disturbing the peace; and driving while license suspended.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com