A Pennsylvania woman playing "a very twisted prank" ruined over $35,000 worth of grocery store goods when she intentionally coughed all over them, according to reports.
The incident took place on Wednesday at Gerrity's Supermarket in Hanover Township, Pennsylvania. Store co-owner Joe Fasula said it was a "challenging day" for staff, who were forced to dispose of the products and do a thorough cleaning.
"The manager informed me that a woman, who the police know to be a chronic problem in the community, came in to the store and proceeded to purposely cough on our fresh produce, and a small section of our bakery, meat case, and grocery," Fasula said in a post to Facebook. "While there is little doubt this woman was doing it as a very twisted prank, we will not take any chances with the health and well-being of our customers."
Fasula said his staff did its best to escort the woman out of the store as quickly as possible. They do not believe she is infected with the coronavirus, but police are making "every effort" to ensure she is tested.
"I am also absolutely sick to my stomach about the loss of food," Fasula said. "While it is always a shame when food is wasted, in these times when so many people are worried about the security of our food supply, it is even more disturbing."
The store's co-owner explained that the case has been escalated to the District Attorney's Office, where they have assured him "they will be aggressively pursuing numerous charges."
Authorities are clamping down on those refusing to take the coronavirus epidemic seriously. A New Jersey man caught coughing on a Wegmans employee on Tuesday was charged with making terroristic threats, obstruction of law and harassment, according to the New York Post.
In Missouri, a man was also charged with making a terrorist threat after reportedly licking a row of deodorants at Walmart and then posting video footage of it on social media. "Who's scared of the coronavirus?" he asked in the clip, according to The Daily Beast. He was arrested on Monday.
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