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Newton police arrest two people caught on video claiming to have coronavirus and coughing at Walmart


NEWTON, Kan. (KSNW) – The Newton Police Department arrested two people from Hesston who allegedly walked through Walmart Monday coughing on other people saying they had coronavirus.

Police said they were not called at the time, but officers began investigating after seeing the video on social media.

Police said the two suspects, 29-year-old Hazel Hamrick and 47-year-old Ernest Williams, were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of a felony criminal threat and a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct. They’ve been booked into Harvey County Jail.

In a statement on social media, police said, “this behavior constitutes, at a minimum, felony criminal threat. This is not joke, whether it’s intended as humor or not. Our department takes this incredibly seriously, and we will continue to interview victims and witnesses.

The Harvey County Attorney’s Office has indicated they will aggressively pursue prosecution of the two, including other potential criminal charges.


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