Woman arrested after coughing in face of cop who shut down her house party

Published 7:37 am Wednesday, April 22, 2020

An Andalusia, Alabama, woman faces multiple charges after hosting a party while Alabama is under an order from the state health officer limiting gatherings. She coughed in the face of the officers.

Chief Paul Hudson said the Andalusia Police Department received a complaint Monday night of loud music on Brewton Street.

“When officers arrived, they found a party of about 40 to 50 people,” Hudson said. “They also smelled an odor of marijuana.”

Officers made contact with the tenant who currently renting the house, Melanie Nicole Chambers, who became irate with officers, he said.

Hudson said Chambers also coughed in an officer’s face and said something about COVID-19, the coronavirus currently causing a worldwide pandemic.

Officers obtained a search warrant and located numerous items of narcotics, including marijuana and drug paraphernalia. As a result, Chambers, who is 39, was charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and violation of the state health officer’s current suspension of gatherings due to COVID-19. Chambers’ total bond is set at $23,500.

Hudson said the arrest marked the first time the APD has charged someone with a violation of the state’s stay-at-home order.

“We are handling this on a case-by-case basis,” he said. “If participants refuse to comply with the order, we have to take steps to enforce it.”

Hudson also praised the officers who responded and handled the situation.

“Three officers initially responded, and they did a good job of keeping order and getting back-up,” he said.