A man was arrested after he allegedly coughed and spit on produce at a grocery store in Kingston, Massachusetts, on Saturday.
The unidentified 65-year-old man could face charges after witnesses said they saw him cough and spit on food at the Stop and Shop located at 160 Summer Street, according to Boston 25 News.
“It’s terrifying and no one should ever do that, even if it is a joke,” said Kyle Mann, who recorded video footage of customers tackling and pinning the suspect to the ground.
“Especially with the CDC now recommending everyone wear face masks, someone doing this makes people more uncomfortable for people to leave their house to get necessary items,” he stated, adding, “And it’s honestly disgraceful.”
In the video, three men held the suspect down as they waited for police officers to arrive.
“Don’t try to get up,” one of them said to the man.
“I’m not!” he replied.
In a Facebook post Saturday, the Kingston Police Department said it had no reason to believe the suspect had the coronavirus.
The post continued:
Out of extreme caution, the individual was transported to the BID-Plymouth Hospital to be evaluated. The individual was informed he is no longer welcome at the Kingston Stop & Shop (trespassed).
The party has been informed that the Kingston Police Department is pursuing an application for criminal complaint which may involve the following criminal charges: Assault & Battery w/ Dangerous Weapon (shod foot), Assault and Battery, Destruction of Property (produce).
In a statement, store officials said they were aware of the “unfortunate incident” and they threw away the potentially infected produce and deep cleaned and sanitized the area following the man’s arrest.
“The well-being of our shoppers and associates is a top priority at Stop & Shop,” the statement noted.
“The customer’s actions were not in accordance with CDC guidelines, which we have been consistently encouraging all shoppers and associates to follow to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” it continued.
Mann said he was wearing a mask and gloves when the alleged crime took place and was thankful store employees and police took the incident seriously.
“I think it’s horrible. Especially with a possibility of food scarcity because there’s so many people buying all the food. So you just waste all this food,” he concluded.