Florida woman Debra Hunter has been charged with assault for purposely coughing in the face of an immunocompromised cancer patient while going off on a tirade at a Pier 1 store in Jacksonville, Florida.
Karen Sprague, the cancer patient in question, filmed the suspect’s tantrum on June 26th when the woman saw her, took none too kindly to Sprague’s actions, flipped her the double birds, and then decided to cough on her documentarian. After Sprague posted the altercation the video went viral and has been viewed 4 million times. Nearly a month later, Hunter was finally identified and arrested on July 22nd.
In their words:
Sprague’s Facebook post details the incident in full.
Yesterday I learned firsthand the power of conscientious bystanders. It took 30 seconds to end 15 minutes of aggressive harassment.
I’m a mother of ten, and currently a brain tumor patient at Mayo Clinic. Obviously, I don’t get out much right now.
I had an appointment in the Town Center area, so I donned my mask and ducked into a store to escape the heat while I waited for my appointment time.
There were two small children wandering around the store unattended for an extended period, and the little guy was doing the potty dance. It became apparent that they belonged to a woman at the register who was becoming increasingly belligerent. She was screaming at, swearing, insulting, and threatening the staff as she demanded to return an item she didn’t have with her, just a photo of the item on her phone. The staff were professional and respectful. But they couldn’t return an item she didn’t actually have with her.
She continued to rage, all the while her poor little boy was squirming and asking for a bathroom, which she would have needed to leave the store to find. When she positioned herself so the clerks couldn’t exit the checkout area and screamed that she would stay right there, yelling as loud as she wanted, until all their customers left… I stood at a distance, pulled out my phone and wordlessly began filming. She immediately turned her attention away from the staff to me.
The video tells the rest of the story.
I did not speak, react, or engage. Simply stood to document the behavior. When bullies are faced with accountability they must acknowledge the unacceptability of their actions. Within 30 seconds of filming her tirade was done and she left the poor staff in peace.
And hopefully her sweet boy got to find a potty.
I’m off to find a Covid test, thanks Karen*cough, cough*❤️
After the incident, Sprague, who is being treated for a brain tumor, said she felt unwell.
The charge Hunter is facing is a misdemeanor.