90ºF

Viral video: Mother of 10 says she was coughed on at Jacksonville Pier One

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Heather Sprague, a Jacksonville woman who says she’s a brain tumor patient, said while waiting for an appointment, she donned her mask and went into a Pier One Imports to escape the summer heat.

When she got inside, Sprague, a mother of 10 children, said she noticed a woman who was berating staff members in the store over an item she wanted to return but didn’t have in her possession. Sprague noticed two young children wandering around the store, who she said accompanied the woman.

While watching from a distance, Sprague wrote that she began taking video of the customer, posted below.

“Do you really need this? What do you want to do - post it for you? How bout that?” the woman is heard saying while making obscene gestures. “I think I’ll get really close to you and cough on you then, how’s that?

The woman is then seen coughing on Sprague. She then leaves the store with her children. It’s unclear whether the incident was reported to police or whether the unnamed woman is facing charges.

Employees at the store declined comment. News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson took a look at the video.

“I totally thought that it was reckless,” Jefferson said. “People’s behavior, people’s actions, it’s no longer just your word against mine or he said, she said. The recording will not lie.”

Sprague did not wish to speak personally with News4Jax. She said on her Facebook page:

“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.”

Sprague added that she was “off to find a COVID test.”

Heather Sprague
Heather Sprague

About the Author: