Police in Virginia are investigating an incident involving juveniles coughing and spitting on produce at a local grocery store while filming it.
“Yesterday, March 18, 2020, an incident occurred at a local grocery store involving juveniles reportedly coughing on produce, while filming themselves and posting it on social media,” the Purcellville Police Department posted on their Facebook page. “The grocery store immediately removed the items in question, and has taken appropriate measures to ensure the health of store patrons.”(RELATED: Churches Suspend Worship Services In DC, Maryland And Virginia Over Coronavirus)
Lieutenant Barry Dufek of the Purcellville Police Department tells the Daily Caller that a shopper witnessed several juveniles spitting on produce and other items in a grocery store, so the shopper told grocery store staff who contacted the police. Dufek adds that the department has potentially identified a few of the individuals involved.
Virginia is under a state of emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak, and Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam announced additional measures that the state would combat the virus Wednesday, including a ban on gatherings of 10 or more people at restaurants, theaters, and fitness centers. Police also have the authority to enforce the order as the virus continues to spread, infecting nearly 100 people as of Thursday, according to a Washington NBC affiliate.
On the social media platform TikTok, “#CoronavirusPrank” has been trending. Videos often feature teenagers at grocery and department stores coughing while pretending to talk on the phone about recent travels to China, causing shoppers standing by to react with concern and fear that the video taper is sick with the highly contagious virus.
@officialsemoGot banned from TARGET! ???????? CORONAVIRUS PRANK PT.2 ???????????? ##funny ##Comedy ##Prank ##CoronavirusPrank ##Coronavirus ￼♬ Its Corona time – playboierik21
For residents in Purcellville, however, Dufek says that the report is the first the department has seen of this nature. “We’ve reached out to other localities that sell grocery type products and we haven’t heard of anything similar. We’re hoping this is a single incident,” he said.