Purcellville Police: No Criminal Intent in Grocery Store Coughing Videos

The Purcellville Police Department announced late last week that it found no criminal intent in an earlier incident in which minors were reported to have coughed on food in a grocery store.

On March 18, it was reported that two juveniles were coughing on produce and posting videos of it on social media. Last week, the department identified and interviewed those juveniles, who admitted to their involvement. Officers determined there was no criminal intent upon learning that the juveniles were getting close to shoppers and coughing into their own sleeves, and not coughing or spitting on customers or produce.

The department is urging parents to discourage the promotion of fear-inducing behavior and to monitor their children’s activities, including social media viewing and posting while they are out of school. Report suspicious activity to the Police Department by calling 540-338-7422.

On Friday, Town Manager David Mekarski announced that the mayor, Town Council and town staff would continue to be engaged with state and county government and health officials to coordinate responses to the coronavirus crisis.

One thought on “Purcellville Police: No Criminal Intent in Grocery Store Coughing Videos

  • 2020-03-23 at 1:19 pm

    I am going to suggest the town PD and town council review § 18.2-415. Disorderly conduct in public places. The “act of violence” is suitably broad here and could easily apply.

    This is little different from yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.

    Is this another instance of police simply lacking the will to keep the peace and enforce laws?

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