, Salem, MA

Local News

May 21, 2012

Woman charged with trying to infect landlord

SALEM — A woman will be summonsed to court on a charge of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon after trying to infect her landlord with scabies.

The woman told police, who entered her Turner Street apartment on Saturday morning, that she had argued with the landlord after he arrived with exterminators to deal with her complaint of bugs and mice in the place.

But the exterminator refused to enter the apartment.

The tenant said she complained to the landlord that he "was treating her like a 'leper,' and she went into the hallway toward him, wiping her arms on him."

In response, she added, the landlord slapped her across the face. She declined any medical attention. Police advised her that she could attempt to bring an assault charge at court.

Police note that the tenant had many red scab marks on her arms, an indication of scabies which is caused by tiny parasites infesting the body. She conceded it was "a severe case," according to the log.

Outside, officers interviewed the landlord who told them the tenant "intentionally went toward him to wipe her contagious skin condition on him. He did react by slapping her in the face."

Noting that the landlord is over 60 and regarding her contagious state as a dangerous weapon, police decided to seek to have the woman summonsed. They have also notified the Board of Health regarding the property.

The landlord and tenant had involved police in a previous argument regarding the state of the apartment "a few weeks ago." Her ailment was evident then as well, according to the log.

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