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Woman Jailed For Saying She Had Covid-19 And Coughing On $35,000 Worth Of Food

Stewart Perrie

Published 

Woman Jailed For Saying She Had Covid-19 And Coughing On $35,000 Worth Of Food

Featured Image Credit: Hanover Township Police Department

A woman has been jailed for up to two years after she claimed to have the coronavirus and coughed on food at a supermarket.

Margaret Ann Cirko purposely coughed and spat on $35,000 worth of food at Gerrity's Supermarket in Pennsylvania in March last year.

She yelled 'I have the virus, now you are all going to get sick' as she spluttered over fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as in the meat and bakery sections.

The supermarket was forced to throw out all the food as a result.

Cirko tested negative for Covid-19 after she was arrested, however considering the incident happened at the start of the pandemic, staff at Gerrity's were terrified they would become sick.

Credit: Gerrity's Supermarket/Facebook
Credit: Gerrity's Supermarket/Facebook

During her trial, the 37-year-old apologised and said she was drunk at the time: "I wish I could take it back."

Prosecutors were initially going to try and lay two felony counts of terrorist threats, one felony count of threat to use a 'biological agent' and one felony count of criminal mischief on Cirko.

However, they later retracted those offences when she pleaded guilty to making a bomb threat.

Cirko's defence team argued the statute would require there to be a mechanical device if it was a bomb threat, however a Luzerne County judge upheld the charge, according to the Times Leader.

Her actions were slammed as 'totally outrageous' and Cirko was handed a jail sentence of one to two years, with eight years probation after she gets released from prison.

She has also been ordered to pay $30,000 to the supermarket in restitution for the food loss.

Credit: PACredit: PA

While store owner Joe Fasula was obviously terrified for the health and safety of his staff during the incident, he was also devastated to throw away all that fresh food.

He wrote on Facebook after the March incident: "Today was a very challenging day. While there is little doubt this woman was doing it as a very twisted prank, we will not take any chances with the health and well-being of our customers.

"I am also absolutely sick to my stomach about the loss of food. While it is always a shame when food is wasted, in these times when so many people are worried about the security of our food supply, it is even more disturbing."

Cirko was also arrested in April this year for refusing to leave a church while claiming she was a 'child of God'.

Margaret Ann Cirko plead guilty to making a bomb threat inside the supermarket.

Topics: News

Stewart Perrie
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