Authorities have accused a former Jackson County jail inmate with throwing his disease-tainted urine on a corrections officer last January.
Leo Dowthard IV, 39, of Kansas City is charged with endangering the health of the unnamed guard because Dowthard was diagnosed with hepatitis C, a chronic disease that can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure.
Hep C can be transmitted by exposure to bodily fluids.
According to the charging documents, Dowthard had a history of tossing his feces and urine at guards and others passing by his cell at the Jackson County Detention Center. He’d assaulted up to five corrections officers that way, according to one witness quoted in the probable cause statement.
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If convicted of the felony charge, Dowthard could face up to seven years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
County Executive Frank White, who is responsible for jail operations, praised the sheriff’s and prosecutor’s offices for investigating the case and filing charges.
“I have no greater priority than ensuring that Jackson County operates a safe and secure facility for staff who are dedicated to protecting the public,” White said in a prepared statement. “Such offensive, dangerous and inappropriate behavior by inmates will not be tolerated.”