Man makes false COVID-19 claim to Driscoll police

McAllen man makes false COVID-19 claim to Driscoll police
Posted at 5:53 PM, Apr 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-07 23:57:33-04

A McAllen man is finding out the hard way that this COVID-19 pandemic is a very serious matter.

After a traffic stop in Driscoll, he made a joke about testing positive for it.

Now he’s facing a very serious criminal charge.

The incident happend about 11:30 a.m. last Monday on Highway 77 in Driscoll.

Police Chief Mike Cantu says he pulled a vehicle over for failure to remain in a single line.

Not only that. Cantu says the 23-year-old male was driving with a suspended license and didn’t have insurance.

The next day, Cantu says he got a message from the driver.

"He just wanted to notify the officer who pulled him over the previous day, and notify him that he had tested positive for COVID-19," Cantu said.

Cantu says he notified Driscoll Mayor Mark Gonzalez, who ordered Driscoll City Hall to be shut down temporarily.

Cantu added that the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office was notified, and they put the driver on a 14-day quarantine.

We can not report the driver’s name or show you his picture since this is an active investigation.

Cantu also contacted District Attorney Mark A. Gonzalez. Last Wednesday, in a phone call with investigator Mike Tamez, the driver admitted he lied.

"He kept trying to perpetuate the lie, so I threw a few obvious questions at him that would rule behavior," Tamez said. "And he finally came clean that he’s never tested for it and he doesn’t have it."

So Gonzalez sent Tamez and a nurse from the health department to McAllen on Friday to test (the) 23-year-old to make sure.

"The man tested negative," Tamez said.

Tamez says DA Gonzalez intends to file a charge of ‘making a false alarm or report’ against the McAllen man this week,

Cantu and Tamez both told me that it was County Judge Barbara Canales who issued an all clear for Driscoll City Hall to reopen over the weekend.

Cantu also says that neither he nor any Driscoll employees had to be tested since the suspect tested negative.