Woman Arrested for Coughing and Spitting on Grocery Produce

woman

The co-owner of Gerrity’s Supermarkets, Joe Fasula, said a vile woman purposely coughed all over a grocery store’s fresh produce, resulting in a huge waste of food and rotten day for its employees … and the authorities are pursuing charges. The woman, who he calls a “chronic problem in the community,” entered the store in Hanover Township, Pennsylvania Wednesday afternoon and began hacking on all the fruit and veggies, along with a small section of the bakery and meat case.

Federal law enforcement recently announced it’s considering terrorism charges for anyone purposely spreading COVID-19.  However, it is unclear if this woman has coronavirus. The owner believes the woman did this as a “very twisted prank” amid the coronavirus pandemic, but she left the store no choice but to throw out all the food she came in contact with – for obvious health and safety reasons.

The owner believed the lady’s sick stunt cost the store nearly $35,000 worth of product.  The stunt also forced workers to have to clean and disinfect everything and possibly exposed customers and at least 15 employers to Coronavirus.

Thankfully,  the store’s team was able to quickly remove the woman from the store and contact the police. Reportedly, the case is with the District Attorney’s Office who is pursuing “numerous charges.” The letter issued by Fasula reads as follows:

Today was a very challenging day.

At 2:20 PM today, I got a call from our Hanover Township store. The manager informed me that a woman, who the police know to be a chronic problem in the community, came into the store and proceeded to purposely cough on our fresh produce, and a small section of our bakery, meat case, and other groceries.

While there is little doubt this woman was doing it is a very twisted prank, we will not take any chances with the health and well-being of our customers. We had no choice but to throw out all the products she came in contact with. Working closely with the Hanover Township health inspector, we identify every area that she was in, we dispose of the product and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected everything.

Although we have not yet qualified the total loss, we estimate the value to be well over $35,000. We are checking to see if our insurance company will cover it, but even if they do, I’ll race a surely go up next year. I am also absolutely sick to my stomach about the loss of food. While it is always a shame with food is wasted, in these times and so many people are worried about the security of our food supply, it is even more disturbing.

Our incredible team did the best I could to get the woman out of the store as fast as possible. The police were contacted immediately, and the case has been escalated to the district attorney’s office. They have assured me that they would be aggressively pursuing numerous charges. In addition, while we do not believe the woman is truly infected, they will make every effort to see that she is tested.

The only silver lining to this travesty is that it gave us the unfortunate opportunity to test our protocols and demonstrate how seriously we take your safety. At one point, we had over 15 employees involved in the disposal and cleanup.

I would like to thank every member of our organization who pitched in today to help, especially those of you who came in on your day off and those who stayed late. I would also like to thank the people who will be going in early tomorrow to get the department’s restocked. One thing is for sure, we will have the cleanest display and freshest produce anywhere in the northeast PA.

The woman, Margaret Cirko, has been arrested and charged with felony counts of terrorist threats.  These threats include using a “biological agent” and criminal mischief. She was also hit with misdemeanor counts of criminal attempt to commit retail theft and disorderly conduct.

Police have confirmed that Cirko entered the store and made verbal threats saying she was sick while intentionally coughing and spitting on merchandise. She then attempted to steal a 12-pack of beer from the store before being ordered to leave by employees. The woman was arrested and her bail is set at $50,000. Cirko is scheduled for court on April 8, 2020.

By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)

Sources:

TMZ: Woman Arrested for Coughing on Grocery Produce
Gerrity’s Supermarket: Joe Fasula (Co-owner)

Image Credits:

Top Image Courtesy of mohamed_hassan’s Pixabay Page – Creative Commons License
Featured Image Courtesy of PickPik – Royalty-Free Images

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