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Gates officer bitten, now taking medications to prevent HIV

(WHAM photo)

Gates, N.Y. - It has been the longest eight weeks of a Gates Police officer's life. He is waiting to find out whether or not he is HIV positive, after being bitten by a suspect.

Gates Police say the officer was assaulted in August, his skin punctured by the bite of a woman being booked into jail for grand larceny and burglary.

"This prisoner became violent and belligerent and out of control," Sergeant Silvio Palermo said. "In the process of trying to settle down the suspect, the officer ended getting bitten the right arm."

The bite sent the officer to Strong Memorial Hospital. Doctors, not knowing the medical history of the suspect, Kenshara Robinson, recommended the officer immediately begin antiretroviral treatment.

The cocktail of powerful medication lessens the chance of a person becoming HIV positive, if exposed.

But, two months later, the court still has not ordered an HIV test from the suspect, leaving the officer waiting for an answer. Gates Police say that law needs to change.

"It is emotionally taxing on him, and his family as well," Palermo added. "We would like to see a provision in the state law which will mandate immediately the order for testing of any individual who commits a crime like this - this is a felony level crime."

Making matters even worse, the officer became very ill for days from the medications, unable to work and affecting his quality of life.

Robinson was indicted by a grand jury within a week of assaulting the police officer. She is due back in court October 31 and is scheduled to go to trial in early 2017.

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