Florida 'Karen' intentionally coughs on brain tumor patient after she films her threatening workers at a store
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA: As people continue to name and shame 'Karens' on the internet for their belligerent and disruptive behavior, one viral video showed a woman, yet to be identified, coughing on a mother-of-ten, who also happens to be a brain tumor patient, for recording her tantrum. Heather Reed Sprague had been shopping at a Pier 1 store in Jacksonville, Florida, earlier this week when she came across a 'Karen' -- a term used to describe a woman perceived to be entitled or demanding beyond what is deemed appropriate -- loudly arguing with the employees and making a scene about an item she wanted to return, but did not have on her.
After quietly observing the woman yell and scream at the employees for a considerable amount of time, Sprague decided she would stand at a distance and record the Karen. It was then that the woman seemingly lost interest in the employees, walked over to her, and coughed on her. "Do you really need this? What do you want me to do, post it for you?" the 'Karen' can be seen telling Sprague at the start of the video after noticing that she's being filmed in her rant. She then flips her middle fingers, asking, "How about that?"
The Karen then walks towards Sprague with her arms crossed and calmly tells her, "I think I’ll get real close to you and cough on you then. How’s that? A**hole!" She proceeds to cough on the mother-of-ten, who is currently a brain tumor patient at the Mayo Clinic and then walks out of the store with her children. The incident came as it was reported that there had been a dramatic surge in coronavirus cases in Florida, which now has over 123,000 people who have tested positive for Covid-19.
Sprague shared the video of the disturbing incident on her Facebook, where it has been viewed closed to 800,000 times and been shared more than 3,000 times, and said the ordeal had taught her the "firsthand the power of conscientious bystanders." The mother explained that she didn't go out often because of her condition but found herself at the Pier 1 because she had to wait for an appointment she had in the Town Center area.
"There were two small children wandering around the store unattended for an extended period, and the little guy was doing the potty dance," she wrote. "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." Sprague shared that the staff was "professional" and "respectful" when they explained they could not issue a refund unless the woman returned the item but that she continued to make a scene.
"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," the mom wrote. "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. When bullies are faced with accountability they must acknowledge the unacceptability of their actions," she said, before adding that she would be going to get herself tested for Covid-19.