New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal has announced that criminal charges were filed on March 24 against a man who allegedly coughed on a food store employee in Manalapan and told the woman he has the coronavirus.
Grewal said George Falcone, 50, of Freehold, was charged by complaint-summons with making terroristic threats (third degree) obstructing the administration of the law or other governmental function (fourth degree) and harassment (petty disorderly persons offense).
The incident occurred at about 6:30 p.m. March 22 at Wegmans, Route 9, Manalapan.
According to Grewal, the employee was concerned that Falcone was standing too close to her and an open display of prepared foods, so she requested that he step back as she covered the food.
Instead, Falcone allegedly stepped forward to within 3 feet of her, leaned toward her and purposely coughed. He allegedly laughed and said he was infected with the coronavirus. Falcone subsequently told two other employees they were lucky to have jobs, according to a press release from Grewal.
A detective from the Manalapan Police Department was working a security detail at the supermarket and approached Falcone, who allegedly refused to cooperate or provide his name or driver’s license.
After approximately 40 minutes, Falcone identified himself and was permitted to leave Wegmans. Following additional investigation, summonses were issued which will require Falcone to appear in court at a later date.
According to a post Silvana Falcone posted on Facebook on March 24, “We are confident that when the evidence comes out it will prove what we already know, that my husband did not do what they are saying he did in the media.”
She said George Falcone does not and did not have coronavirus.
“There are two sides to every story,” she wrote.
She thanked customers of Rosario’s Pizza in Bordentown, which they own; employees, friends and family for supporting the family and not rushing to judgement.
“In the meantime, we will continue to serve this community as we have done for over 45 years,” she wrote.