Sheriff: Florida man arrested for coughing on cashier said social distancing is 'getting out of hand'



VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. -- A Florida man was charged with aggravated assault after deputies said he intentionally coughed on a retail store employee amid the coronavirus pandemic, claiming social distancing is “getting out of hand.”

Christopher Canfora, 49, was arrested shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 7 at his home in DeBary, Florida.

According to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, deputies responded to the Harbor Freight Tools store in Orange City, Florida, where an employee claimed that Canfora approached her at a cash register and commented on the social distancing measures the store was taking, including tape markers on the floor to space customers six feet apart.

That's when the employee said Canfora said, "This is all getting out of hand," and intentionally coughed on her and the cash register.

"She said Canfora then explained that he does the same to people wearing masks when he sees them, and he was planning on going to another store (Winn-Dixie) and doing it some more," the sheriff's office said.

When deputies arrived at his home, they said Canfora denied coughing on anyone. He also reportedly explained that he did not have "any symptoms associated with COVID-19."

"He said he didn’t expect anyone to understand his sense of humor, and he couldn’t remember exactly what he said at Harbor Freight," the sheriff's office said.

Canfora was taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail and was being held on $5,000 bond.