A 65-year-old man was accused of coughing and spitting on produce inside a Massachusetts supermarket in an incident that escalated into a physical confrontation with store staff and other customers.
What went down?
Kingston police on Saturday said that officers responded to a Stop & Shop for a report of a disturbance where it was alleged that a Duxbury man was coughing and spitting and became confrontational with staff and witnesses — after which the incident escalated into a physical altercation.
"I was shopping in the produce [aisle] when all of a sudden I turned the corner. I saw a worker and the man yelling with other people watching," Kyle Mann — an 18-year-old who recorded video of the incident — told the Patriot Ledger.
Mann added to the paper that he saw the "extremely aggressive" suspect try to hit the store employee, then the employee punched the man in the face — and soon after the man was "tackled by a group of bystanders."
A cellphone video of the incident showed several men holding the suspect facedown on the floor until police arrived with one of the men shouting, "Don't try and get up!"
"While that was happening, I heard them talking about him spitting and coughing on the produce, which is how I learned what happened seconds after I arrived and shot the video," Mann told the Patriot Ledger.
What happened to the suspect?
Police said they have no reason to believe the unnamed suspect has COVID-19 but added that he was taken to a hospital for evaluation. The boards of health in Kingston and Duxbury will take whatever action necessary to ensure public safety with information they become aware of, police said.
Police added that the suspect is no longer welcome at the Stop & Shop and that they're pursuing an application for criminal complaint that may include charges of assault & battery with a dangerous weapon (shod foot), assault and battery, and destruction of property (i.e., store produce).
A Stop & Shop spokesperson told the Patriot Ledger that the store discarded all potentially affected product and deep cleaned and sanitized all impacted areas.
Late last month, a Pennsylvania mom and pop grocery store chain was forced to throw out at least $35,000 worth of goods in one of its stores after a woman reportedly entered the premises and coughed on several cases of food.
Confrontation at Kingston Stop & Shop youtu.be
(H/T: The American Mirror)