A Pennsylvania woman that coughed on grocery worth around $35,000 gets charged with 4 counts of felonies.
The woman, who has been identified as 35-year-old Margaret Cirko, played a twisted prank at a Pennsylvania grocery store earlier this week.
The woman was caught on cam coughing on groceries worth around $35,000, forcing the supermarket to throw out all the food.
On Wednesday (March 25, 2020) Joe Fasula wrote on the Facebook page of the Gerrity’s supermarket chain, which he co-owns, and talked about the incident.
Joe said: “Today was a very challenging day, a woman, who the police know to be a chronic problem in the community,” walked into the chain’s Hanover Township store and “proceeded to purposely cough on our fresh produce, and a small section of our bakery, meat case, and grocery.”
According to the Hanover Township Police Department, the woman, who has been identified as 35-year-old Margaret Cirko, was shopping and making threats that she was sick.
The woman coughed and spit on the food.
The police said: “Cirko continued this behavior in several aisles before attempting to steal a 12-pack of beer as she was being ordered to leave the store by employees.”
The woman was arrested and charged with 2 felony counts of terrorist threats, one felony count of threats to use a biological agent, and one felony count of criminal mischief.
She also faces misdemeanor counts of criminal attempt to commit retail theft and disorderly conduct.
On Wednesday, Cirko, the woman, underwent a mental health evaluation.
Authorities are currently working to get the 35-year-old tested for the virus.
Joe said, “While there is little doubt this woman was doing it as a very twisted prank … we had no choice but to throw out all product she came in contact with.”
Joe added, “Working closely with the Hanover Township health inspector, we identified every area that she was in, we disposed of the product and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected everything.”
The staff at the supermarket estimated that the food that she spat and coughed on was around $35,000.
Talking about the incident, Joe said, “I am also absolutely sick to my stomach about the loss of food.”
Joe added, “While it is always a shame when food is wasted, in these times when so many people are worried about the security of our food supply, it is even more disturbing.”
Fasula said that his staff did its best to get the woman out of the store as fast as they can.
They also called the police.
Fasula said, “The only silver lining to this travesty is that it gave us the unfortunate opportunity to test our protocols and demonstrate how seriously we take your safety.”
Fasula added, “One thing is for sure, we will have the cleanest display and freshest produce anywhere in northeast PA.”
After the incident, Joe posted pictures of his fully restocked shelves.
Joe said, “I am humbled by the outpouring of support that our company and our team have received.”
Joe added, “While my previous post received an unimaginable amount of attention, this post is by far my most important.”
As of writing this article, Cirko is being held at the Luzerne County Prison on a $50,000 bail.
She is due in court on April 8, 2020.