MANALAPAN, N.J. -- A New Jersey man is facing charges after he was accused of coughing on a Wegmans employee and telling the woman he had the novel coronavirus.
The incident happened on March 22 around 6:30 p.m.
The employee told investigators she was concerned that George Falcone, 50, was standing too close to her and an open display of prepared foods, so she requested that he step back as she covered the food.
According to the New Jersey Attorney General's Office, Falcone allegedly stepped forward to within 3 feet of her, leaned toward her, and purposely coughed. He then laughed and said he was infected with the novel coronavirus.
Investigators said Falcone then told two other employees they are lucky to have jobs.
Authorities said Falcone initially refused to cooperate with a detective at the store. He was later released on a summons.
"These are extremely difficult times in which all of us are called upon to be considerate of each other- not to engage in intimidation and spread fear, as alleged in this case," said New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Singh Grewal. "We must do everything we can to deter this type of conduct and any similar conduct that harms others during this emergency."
Falcone was charged with terroristic threats, obstruction and harassment.