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The woman entered the Gerrity supermarket in the canton of Hanover around 2:20 p.m. and “deliberately coughed” on the store fresh products as well as a small portion of its bakery, meat and grocery shelves, according to store co-owner Joe Fasula.
He described it as a “twisted prank”.
“Although there is no doubt that this woman did this as a very twisted prank, we will not take any risks with the health and well-being of our customers,” said Fasula. “We estimate the value to be well over $ 35,000.”
Fasula said the mystery cougar would not be infected and has been called a “chronic problem in the community” by the police. He added that the woman had not been in the store before and that the police were contacted after the employees removed her as quickly as possible.
The case has been “referred” to the district attorney’s office, which will prosecute, he said.
Hanover police later announced in a press release that the suspect had been identified and was undergoing a mental health assessment at a local hospital. Criminal charges will also be laid by the ministry.
Fasula said the store was working closely with the local health inspector in Hanover to identify each area in which the suspect was located.
“I’m also absolutely sick to the stomach from the loss of food,” said Fasula. “If it is always shameful to waste food in these times when so many people are concerned about the security of our food supply, it is even more worrisome.”
“I am also absolutely sick to the stomach because of the loss of food. Although it is always a shame to waste food, in these times when so many people worry about the security of our food supply, c is even more disturbing. “
He said that “the only silver lining in this travesty” is that the incident allowed the store to test its security protocols. More than 15 employees have been involved in the disposal and cleanup efforts, he said.
In the end, he called it “a very difficult day”.
The Gerrity Supermarkets website says it has nine locations across Pennsylvania. At the start of Thursday, the state had nearly 1,300 cases of virus and 15 deaths.