A Missouri man intentionally coughed on fellow shoppers at a store and scrawled “COVID” on a cooler door, police said.
John Swaller, 33, of Cuba, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis, was arrested Tuesday after an employee at a Dollar Tree called cops to report a man was “purposely coughing toward other customers” and breathed on the inside of a cooler before using his finger to write “COVID” on it, police told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Investigator said Swaller also put his hands down his pants and rubbed a cooler door handle. The store was later shut down and sanitized, Cuba police said.
Swaller, who was jailed on $25,000 bond, was charged in Crawford County with making a terroristic threat in the second-degree, the Post-Dispatch reports.
Reached for comment Wednesday, Swaller’s father told the newspaper his son is not infected with COVID-19.
“He’s healthy as a horse,” Swaller’s father said before dismissing the allegations against his son as untrue. He declined to be identified, the newspaper reports.
Police, meanwhile, said it’s unclear whether Swaller has the disease. But arresting officers who later took him into custody after he left the store took no chances and used protective gear when taking him to jail, Cuba police Chief Doug Shelton told the Post-Dispatch.
“I feel that it worries a lot of the residents of Cuba,” Shelton said. “It has angered a lot of people.”
If convicted, Swaller faces up to four years in prison. He has prior convictions for burglary, theft and stolen property — and was arrested in Crawford County on allegations of drug possession and resisting arrest in January, according to court records cited by the newspaper.
The post Man coughed on store shoppers, wrote ‘COVID’ on cooler door: cops appeared first on New York Post.