Woman Who Coughed on $35k Worth of Grocery Store Food Faces Felony Charges

NBC reports a woman who played a “twisted prank” at a Pennsylvania grocery store Wednesday by purposely coughing on about $35,000 worth of food that had to be thrown out, was charged with four felonies, including counts of making terrorist threats, police said.

Woman Who Coughed on $35k Worth of Grocery Store Food Faces Felony Charges
Add captionWoman Who Coughed on $35k Worth of Grocery Store Food Faces Felony Charges

Joe Fasula wrote Wednesday on the Facebook page of the Gerrity’s supermarket chain, which he co-owns.“Today was a very challenging day,”

Fasula said, “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,”



The Hanover Township Police Department said in a statement late Thursday that the suspect, identified as Margaret Cirko, 35, was making threats that she was sick while coughing and spitting on the food. 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,”

She was arrested and charged with two 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. Cirko underwent a mental health evaluation on Wednesday, police said, and authorities were working to get her tested for coronavirus, Fasula said.

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