Coronavirus updates: California official cited after confrontation with protesters

ABC News Corona Virus Health and Science

The Fresno City Council president was cited for three counts of assault.

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 291,000 people worldwide.

More than 4.2 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 1.3 million diagnosed cases and at least 82,387 deaths.

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Today’s biggest developments:

  • Fresno City Council president cited for 3 counts of assault
  • Here’s how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. Please refresh this page for updates.

    3:28 a.m.: Fresno City Council president cited for 3 counts of assault after confrontation with protesters

    Fresno City Council President Miguel Arias was cited for three counts of assault after a group of anti-lockdown protesters approached his home Tuesday afternoon, police said.

    The unarmed protesters showed up at Arias’s residence to demand the reopening of businesses and the lifting of social-distancing restrictions in the California city. A spokesman for the Fresno Police Department told ABC News there was sufficient evidence that Arias committed assault against the protesters.

    Video allegedly taken by one of the protesters purportedly shows the city council president shoving a man down a staircase away from the front door of his apartment.

    Arias claims the protesters tried to break into his home and refused to leave.

    “Not only did they go into private property that’s gated that requires security to get through, but they showed up to my front door and banged on my front door,” Arias told Fresno ABC station KFSN. “Folks didn’t want to give way to my private property, so I moved them out of the way.”

    Investigators are still trying to determine whether there was an attempted break-in. Police said they are beefing up security at the homes of other city leaders at this time as a precaution.

    Demonstrators have gathered in cities across the country in recent weeks to protest stay-at-home orders put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

    ABC News’ Marilyn Heck contributed to this report.

    What to know about coronavirus:

  • How it started and how to protect yourself: Coronavirus explained
  • What to do if you have symptoms: Coronavirus symptoms
  • Tracking the spread in the U.S. and worldwide: Coronavirus map
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