Mass. man accused of spitting, coughing in grocery store during coronavirus outbreak

KINGSTON, Mass. (WBZ/CNN) - A wild scene erupted Saturday morning at a Massachusetts grocery store after shoppers claimed a man was spitting in the produce aisle.

Kingston police told WBZ a 65-year-old man was coughing and spitting before becoming confrontational with employees and witnesses at a Stop & Shop. Cellphone video showed three men subduing the alleged spitter. The person who captured the video said the man was coughing and spitting on the produce, but police didn’t say if the man’s spit hit grocery items.

The grocery chain called the scene an unfortunate incident. Workers discarded potentially affected products and did a deep cleaning. The health department inspected the store and said it was safe for shoppers.

Police said there was no indication the man had COVID-19, but he was taken to a hospital to be evaluated. He could face charges including destruction of property and assault and battery. The store has banned him for life.

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