Man faces terrorism charges after coughing on shoppers, writing 'COVID' inside stores

By Nicole Sanders

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    Cuba (KMOV) -- A 33-year-old Cuba, Mo. man was arrested Tuesday after coughing on shoppers inside a store and writing "COVID" inside a cooler door.

Officers arrived to a local business for a report of a man causing a disturbance inside. An employee told police the man, later identified as 33-year-old John Swaller of Cuba, Mo., was coughing towards shoppers on purpose. Swaller then breathed on the inside of a cooler door and wrote "COVID" on the inside.

Police said the 33-year-old also placed his hands down his pants and rubbed on the cooler door handle.

The store was forced to shut down and sanitized.

Swaller is being held on a $25,000 bond for charges of making a terroristic threat.

This is the first incident where charges were filed after people sparked coronavirus fears at grocery stores. A Warrenton man filmed himself licking items at a Walmart and a grocery store threw out $35,000 of food after a Pennsylvania coughed on it.

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