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Man Charged For COVID-19 Public Coughing Gag 

When a man in Walmart reportedly coughed on a patron on purpose and stated that he had the coronavirus the authorities arrested and charged him for the poorly received prank.

26-year-old Robert Eugene Heffner Jr. lives in Belmont, North Carolina.

Governor Roy Cooper issued a statewide order to the people of North Carolina stating that they must adhere to social distancing.

On the evening of March 27, Heffner reportedly entered a Walmart just outside of Charlotte.

While he was in the store, Heffner allegedly walked up to another person in the establishment and proceeded to cough in their face right before telling them that he was infected with coronavirus (COVID-19). It was asserted that Heffner had done it purposely.

When the authorities learned about the alleged incident they initiated contact with Heffner and told him that he was going to be held legally accountable for the action of which he was accused.

It was listed on the warrants that the authorities believe Heffner was aware that by doing what he was accused of, and they believe his intention was likely to “create fear in the customer and fear and anxiety in the public at large.”

Heffner was taken to the Gaston County Jail where he was booked. He is facing charges for suspicion of misdemeanor violation of emergency prohibitions, and misdemeanor failure to comply.

It has not currently been released whether it is known if Heffner actually has the virus, but the authorities believe it was more than likely an attempt to pull off an ill-conceived prank.

At this time, no bond has been set for Heffner’s release regarding the charges, and it is recorded in the jail records that he is still on probation for felony theft.

If you or someone you love is suspected of a crime, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.

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