New York man threatens police officer with TB

A Rome, New York, man was recently indicted on charges that he threatened to infect a police officer and his family with tuberculosis.

Leon Scrubb, 53, was indicted on one count each of second-degree harassment, second-degree obstruction and driving while intoxicated following an incident that occurred shortly after 1 a.m. on September 1 in Vernon, New York, according to

Scrubb was pulled over by a police officer who suspected him of driving drunk. As the officer approached, Scrubb threatened to spit in the officer's face. Scrubb said that he was infected with TB and would infect the officer. He then threatened to infect the officer's entire family.

Oneida County Judge John Balzano is scheduled to preside over Scrubb's arraignment on October 9, reports.

Tuberculosis is caused by infection with the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria most commonly attack the lungs, but can also attack other parts of the body, including the kidney, spine and brain. If not properly treated, TB can be fatal, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

TB is spread from person to person through the air. When a person with TB coughs, sneezes or speaks, TB enters the air where it can be inhaled by others.