New Castle police: Man threatens employee by coughing near them, claiming to have COVID-19

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Quear is being charged with terroristic threats, disorderly conduct, recklessly endangering another person and harassment

Police car, lights

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NEW CASTLE, Pa. (WKBN) – A man faces charges after New Castle police say he threatened a gas station employee by coughing near them, claiming to have COVID-19.

Officers were dispatched to the Speedway gas station on North Jefferson Street on Monday.

Police said the man walked into the gas station to buy cigarettes. The report said he was denied the purchase for not having an ID, so he got upset and started coughing toward the employee.

According to police, the man told the employee that they need to disinfect the store because he has the coronavirus.

Through security footage, New Castle police said they were able to identify the man as 26-year-old Michael Quear. He is being charged with terroristic threats, disorderly conduct, recklessly endangering another person and harassment.

In a Facebook post, police wanted to remind the community to be considerate to others rather than spreading fear during this time. They said they intend to thoroughly investigate any similar behavior in New Castle.

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