Last Updated on February 4, 2020
A woman scared off a would-be rapist by coughing and saying that she had just returned from the epicenter of the deadly Coronavirus outbreak, Wuhan.
On Friday night, a woman known as Li, who was alone at her home in Pingba, Jingshan, suffered a break-in where the 25-year-old suspect identified by police as Xiao fled in a panic after Li pretended to cough and said “I just returned from Wuhan and have been infected, therefore I am home alone in self-quarantine.”
Li, despite warding off the potential rape by her quick thinking, the suspect, Xiao, still made off with the equivalent of 3,080 yuan–approximately $440 USD, according to The Daily Mail.
During the incident, Li tried to cough at Xiao, while Xiao was squeezing her neck and covering her mouth.
After being frightened by Li’s coughing and claims, Xiao escaped from his victim’s home, which is roughly a three-hour drive from Wuhan.
Pingba resident, Xiao, had walked out on his family penniless the same night, which may have compelled him to commit the robbery and botched attempted rape.
The attempted assault was reported by Chinese police on social media.
When Xiao fled, Li called the police who implied that the manhunt was challenging due to residents wearing face masks, given their fears of contracting the deadly Coronavirus.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, Xiao turned himself in while escorted by his father.
Last night, there was a spike in Coronavirus fatalities, taking the global total to over 427, including one in Hong Kong.
The deadly virus has now infected thousands of people across several countries, eliciting severe travel restrictions and the hasty construction of emergency medical facilities.