Virginia state trooper resigns after text about coughing to spread COVID-19

Virginia State Police began an internal investigation into Trooper Jacob Gooch after the texts surfaced during a homicide investigation in Arizona.
Virginia State Police began an internal investigation into Trooper Jacob Gooch after the texts surfaced during a homicide investigation in Arizona. (WSLS)

A Virginia state trooper has resigned after he claimed in a text message that he intentionally coughed on a driver he ticketed in hopes of spreading the coronavirus.

Virginia State Police began an internal investigation into Trooper Jacob Gooch after the texts surfaced during a homicide investigation in Arizona.

Gooch’s brother, Mark Gooch, is charged in the killing of a Sunday school teacher who disappeared from a Mennonite community in New Mexico. In one text exchange in mid-April, Jacob Gooch told Mark and another brother that he gave a Mennonite man a ticket and coughed on him “so he would spread Corona to the wedding they were going too.”

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said Jacob Gooch resigned late last month.