Coughing on others, pretending to have coronavirus could get you arrested


OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Two certain instances have come to light involving men from different states, pretending to have coronavirus, both of which resulted in serious federal charges.

Although these happened in other states, Oklahoma City Police say, should it happen here, officers would respond.

An elderly man who was recovering from pneumonia in Carlisle, Pennsylvania recently went to a Karns grocery stores, while wearing a mask and gloves.

Police say Daniel Tabussi, 57, assaulted the senior citizen by allegedly saying he had coronavirus, then deliberately coughing in close proximity to him, and mocking him for wearing a mask.

Tabussi now faces charges for terroristic threats, simple assault by physical menace, disorderly conduct, and harassment.

A separate case happened at a Walmart store in Albemarle, North Carolina.

Police say 31-year-old Justin Rhodes went live on Facebook as he walked through the store, saying that he “definitely tested positive” for COVID-19,  touching items and saying, “If I got it, you all got it.”

That video was posted to YouTube and has been seen more than three million times. 

Rhodes was arrested for felony perpetrating a hoax in a public building and disorderly conduct, and is scheduled to appear in court March 30th.

Fortunately, no such cases have been reported in Oklahoma, however law enforcement will make similar arrests for such behavior.

Oklahoma City Police MSgt. Gary Knight tells News 4 that because this is such a new thing that no one has faced before, officers everywhere are learning as they go.

“Oklahoma City Police will respond as we always have and will take whatever action officers deem appropriate once on the scene,” Knight said.

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