Texas Teen Faces Terrorism Charges After Threatening To Spread Coronavirus

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Marlo Safi Culture Reporter
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Police in Carrollton, Texas, have arrested a teenager accused of claiming to have the coronavirus and threatening to “willfully” spread it, the Carrollton ABC affiliate reported Tuesday.

Lorraine Maradiaga, 18, was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with terroristic threat, which is a third-degree felony, according to ABC. 

Maradiga had been creating social-media videos in which she purported to be intentionally spreading the coronavirus. Following her arrest, she had stated being negative for the virus. Police have not yet obtained proof whether she tested positive at any time, per ABC. 

Her bond was set to $20,000, and under the condition of her bond, Maradiaga was ordered to quarantine for 21 days upon her release.

People began tagging the police and sharing the videos on Saturday, a spokesperson told NBC News.

One of the videos circulating on social media is believed to have been taken at a COVID-19 drive-thru testing site, Jolene DeVito, the Carrollton Police spokesperson said. A health care professional can be heard telling Maradiaga that she needs to go home and wait for test results. Another video shows Maradiaga at a store, DeVito said, according to NBC News.

“I’m here at Walmart about to infest every motherf——, because if I’m going down, all you motherf—— are going down,” she said in the video, NBC News reported.

Police in other states have investigated incidents involving teenagers filming themselves coughing or spitting in public during the coronavirus pandemic and then posting the footage on social media. (RELATED: Police In Virginia Investigate Teens Spitting On Produce At Grocery Store)