ODESSA, Texas  (KMID/KPEJ)- An Odessa man was arrested late last month after he was accused of biting a police officer despite knowing he has an illness that can be transmitted through blood. 

According to an affidavit, Ernesto Salas, 49, was taken to Medical Center Hospital on October 16 for reasons that were not revealed in the report. Salas was handcuffed because he was under a protective custody order while waiting for medical clearance.

Then, on October 17, Salas was accused of twice biting the hand of an Odessa police officer who was trying to stop him from removing his handcuffs. Court documents stated Salas knew he had a transmissible illness and “knowingly and intentionally” bit the officer “without regard for his health and safety”.

On October 28, after being released from the hospital, Salas was taken into custody on two separate warrants, one for Assault of a Peace Officer and another for Driving with a Suspended License. 

Another affidavit stated that on September 14, OPD officers responded to the scene of a rollover crash in the 1800 block of E 2nd Street after someone called 911 and said he thought the driver involved in the crash was dead. At the scene, officers found Salas behind the wheel of a 1996 Mercedes that was upside down in the eastbound lanes.

Investigators said Salas smelled strongly of alcohol; they also found an open 24 ounce can of beer inside the car. Officers discovered that Salas’ license had been suspended just days before following another crash and requested a warrant for his arrest that same day.

Salas remained in custody as of Thursday morning; his bond has been set at $20,500.