Allegedly bit bus driver, spat own blood at cops

Published 1:56 pm Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A grand jury will hear allegations that a 37-year-old man bit a bus driver, then spat his own blood at police officers.

Justice Court Judge Bruce Strong also kept bond for John Tad Hinton Jr., of Gulfport, at $500,000.

“The judge said he didn’t want to give him a bond at all but he had to,” Harrison County prosecuting attorney Herman Cox said. “The judge said if Mr. Hinton is able to make bond, the judge wants to be contacted first.”

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Hinton, 37, had just been released from prison when Gulfport police arrested him June 4 at the Greyhound bus station. He allegedly had bitten a bus driver in the chest, then chewed his own tongue to draw blood and spat in the face and eyes of two police officers.

He also allegedly told police he had hepatitis C, which can be transmitted through blood. Blood tests showed that is true, Cox told the judge Wednesday.

Cox said all three men must undergo frequent tests to see if they have been infected.

Hinton was arrested on one count of felony malicious mischief and three of exposing someone to hepatitis C. The maximum total sentence on those charges would be 35 years in prison.

The mischief charge alleges he caused about $900 in damage to a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria patrol car by kicking out strobe lights and an acrylic window.

Police also charged Hinton with public drunkenness, resisting arrest and public profanity.