N.J. Man, George Falcone, Faces 7 Years For Coughing On Grocery Worker, Saying He Had Coronavirus
On Sunday evening, 50-year-old George Falcone is accused of coughing on a supermarket employee, allegedly claiming he had the coronavirus.
The New Jersey native went into a Wegmans supermarket in Manalapan and allegedly began coughing on an employee, telling her he had the coronavirus, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal stated. Falcone has been charged with making terrorist threats. A Manalapan Police Department detective who was working on security detail at the store spoke with Falcone. Falcone refused to identify himself for 40 minutes while talking to the detective. When he finally did identify himself, Falcone was permitted to leave the supermarket.
The employee reported that she had noticed Falcone police before the incident. She noticed him because she felt he was standing too close to her and an open display of prepared food. When the employee asked him to step back as she covered the food, Falcone allegedly “stepped forward to within three feet of her, leaned toward her and purposely coughed,” the press release states. “He allegedly laughed and said he was infected with the coronavirus. Falcone subsequently told two other employees they are lucky to have jobs.”
On Tuesday, Falcone was charged with Terroristic Threats, Obstructing Administration of Law or Other Governmental Function, and Harassment.
“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,” Grewal said in a statement. “Exploiting people’s fears and creating panic during a pandemic emergency is reprehensible. In times like these, we need to find ways to pull together as a community instead of committing acts that further divide us,” said Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.
If found guilty of all three charges, Falcone could face up to 7 years in prison.