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Police: Charges planned against 2 in coughing incidents

The Associated Press
Tom Trump of Solon, logistics section chief at Johnson County Emergency Management, opens a box of procedural masks delivered by Pat and Andy Winborn of Kalona at the Johnson County Emergency SEATS facility in Iowa City on Saturday, March 28, 2020. The county purchased an order of masks from a supplier in Colorado, while the National Guard delivered gowns, face shields and masks dispensed from the state. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette via AP)

GREENSBURG, Pa. – Charges are planned against two people accused in separate incidents of purposely coughing on a fast-food restaurant worker and staff members at a doctor’s office while saying they have the coronavirus, state police in western Pennsylvania said.

Police in Westmoreland County said a 48-year-old North Huntingdon woman became upset at a drive-thru window of a Route 30 fast-food restaurant in Hempfield. Trooper Anthony Direnzo alleges that she “began purposely coughing at the staff member as well as stating ‘I hope you get COVID-19 and die.’”

Disorderly conduct, reckless endangerment and simple assault charges are planned, Direnzo said.

At a doctor’s office in Latrobe, police allege that a 53-year-old Cherry Tree man saw a staff member wearing a protective mask and said “That mask is not going to help you.” Police allege that he then coughed repeatedly on her and said “I guess we’ll find out.”

Trooper Troy Faulk alleges that he also purposely coughed on another staff member after she handed him a protective mask. Disorderly conduct, harassment, reckless endangerment and simple assault charges are planned, Faulk said.