50-year-old George Falcone has been charged with making terroristic threats after his actions in a branch of Wegmans in Manalapan, New Jersey, on Sunday evening. According to the state’s attorney general Gurbir Grewal, an employee inside the store asked Falcone to move away from prepared foods as she covered them up. At this point, it is alleged that Falcone leaned towards the woman and deliberately coughed on her before laughing, telling her he had coronavirus.
He wasn’t done with his weirdo behavior after that, either. Falcone went on to tell two other employees that they were lucky to have jobs. When he ended up being approached by a police officer, he initially refused to identify himself, according to prosecutors. Once Falcone was charged, Monmouth County prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni explained, “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.” Grewal added, “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. Just as we are cracking down on bias offenses and those who use the pandemic to fuel hatred and prejudice, we vow to respond swiftly and strongly whenever someone commits a criminal offence that uses the coronavirus to generate panic or discord.”
As for Falcone, he has since denied the accusations completely, telling press that he “didn’t cough on anyone and never mentioned corona.”