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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

Gaston County Man Arrested, Accused Of Coughing On Store Customer, Claiming He Had Coronavirus

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Police have arrested a Gaston County man they accuse of coughing at a customer at a Walmart store and saying he had the coronavirus. 

The Gaston Gazette reports that Robert Eugene Heffner, 26, of Belmont, was arrested on Friday night.

The newspaper cites arrest warrants stating that Heffner “purposely coughed at a customer” and said he had COVID-19.

“The action could create fear in the customer and the public at large,” the warrant said.

Online jail records show that Heffner was charged with misdemeanor counts of a public health violation and failure to comply.

Jail records didn't list whether he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf. The newspaper said it's not known if Heffner has the virus.