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‘Knucklehead’ who coughed on Wegmans worker charged with terroristic threats: N.J. governor

PennLive.com logo PennLive.com 4 days ago By Matt Arco, pennlive.com

A Wegmans customer faces charges of terroristic threats and harassment after coughing on a worker at the grocery store chain’s Manalapan, N.J., location and claiming he had the coronavirus, Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday.

The governor didn’t provide many details about the incident during his daily coronavirus briefing, other than to say “it demonstrates active law enforcement” is ready to respond to people who violate orders put in place in reaction to the outbreak.

“There are knuckleheads out there. We see them and we are enforcing behavior," Murphy said during his briefing at Rutgers-Newark.

Hours later, authorities identified the man as George Falcone, 50, of Freehold. He was charged with terroristic threats, harassment and obstruction, they said.

Falcone was told by the employee he was standing too close to her and to an open display of prepared foods, according to the Office of the Attorney General. He then allegedly “stepped forward to within 3 feet of her, leaned toward her, and purposely coughed."

Falcone also allegedly laughed and said was infected with the coronavirus, authorities said, adding, “Falcone subsequently told two other employees they are lucky to have jobs.”

The incident occurred at around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, police said.

A similar situation was reported in Cumberland County, Pa., when police said a man coughed on and harassed an elderly shopper, recently recovered from pneumonia, who was wearing a mask and gloves in a store.

Matt Arco may be reached at marco@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewArco or Facebook.

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©2020 The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.)

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