The woman pulled down her mask and forcefully coughed on the 1-year-old's face two or three times before the child's mother got a chance to react.
Police are searching for an unidentified woman who deliberately coughed on a baby in a stroller after getting into a verbal altercation with the child's mother. The disturbing incident reportedly occurred in the afternoon of June 12 at a Yogurtland establishment in San Jose, California, after the woman accused the child's mother of standing too close to her and not maintaining proper social distancing.
Surveillance camera footage of the altercation shows the woman pulling down her mask and forcefully coughing on the 1-year-old's face two or three times before the child's mother gets a chance to react.
The San Jose Police Department is now seeking the public's help in identifying the assault suspect and released the surveillance footage of the incident on YouTube on Monday. "On Friday, June 12, 2020, at about 5:25 PM, an assault occurred at Yogurtland, located at 5638 Cottle Road in San Jose. The unknown adult female suspect was standing in line inside the business, in front of an adult female and her 1-year-old child who was in a stroller," Sergeant Enrique Garcia revealed in a press release.
"The preliminary investigation revealed the suspect was upset the female was not maintaining proper social distancing, so the suspect removed her face mask, got close to the baby’s face, and coughed 2-3 times. The suspect left the scene and has not been identified or apprehended," he added. "The suspect is described as a white female in her 60s, medium build, wearing a gray bandana, glasses, long sleeve shirt with gray vertical lines, white dress pants, and patterned tennis shoes."
Speaking to ABC News, the child's mother, Mireya Mora, said that the incident was race-related. "I believe this woman may be racist because the family in front of her is white. Me and my grandma are Hispanic and she started telling me about my distance and harassing me and my son once I started speaking Spanish to my grandma," she said.
Mora also revealed that the woman made a racist comment to her at the store. "She said, 'So you don’t understand, and do you even understand what I’m saying?' Like I’m not even speaking English," she told NBC News.
"Coughing on someone's face. She did it on purpose it's not like she did it on accident, oh cough, cough - no she purposely coughed on my son's face." https://t.co/QnFm5cc28n— Action News on 6abc (@6abc) June 22, 2020
Mora said her son has had trouble sleeping since the incident and that he's also had a slight fever. Although Mora is worried about him contracting the novel coronavirus, she remains hopeful as he is currently doing well. "If he were to get sick, it’s just, I can’t even imagine," she said. "I can't believe someone has the heart to do this, and why? My child did nothing wrong. My son should not have experienced this."
"Coughing on someone's face. She did it on purpose it's not like she did it on accident, oh cough, cough - no she purposely coughed on my son's face... It happened so quickly I was in shock. She got close, she took off her mask, and she coughed three times super hard on my son's face," the concerned mother stated.
The video of the incident quickly went viral on social media as enraged netizens rallied to identify the assault suspect using the power of the internet as they have done with many others.
What kind of person coughs on a baby in a stroller? Twitter, do your thing. And since she doesn’t like Spanish, mi gente, ayuden a identificar a esta bruja, tweeted Ana Navarro-Cárdenas.
Mother Mireya Mora took her 1-year-old son in a stroller last Friday to a Yogurtland location in San Jose, California. She says while they were standing in a line, a female customer in front of herhttps://t.co/Y4f7zleazk pic.twitter.com/jg7ztgfXJn— Trending News (@wikiagebio1) June 23, 2020
I am a law-abiding citizen, never had a traffic ticket. You better believe if someone intentionally coughs on me or one of my kids... that person is getting decked, wrote Twitter user Brenda Lee.
Another user, Pete Milan, tweeted: Y'all, I'm as much of a bleeding heart liberal as the next guy, but shit like this makes me want to kick a kneecap or two. Cough on a baby, you asshole, the hell’s your problem?
As of now, the suspect remains unidentified and anybody with information is asked to contact the San Jose Police Department's Assaults Unit at 408-277-4161.