A woman in Newtown Connecticut took social distancing matters into her own hands while visiting the Big Y store on May 18.
She is now being charged and may serve jail time for her attempts at correcting a man's improper social distancing.
The woman, identified as Martine Shanchuk, observed a fellow shopper at the Big Y, walking in the wrong direction down the shopping aisle, effectively placing himself too close to the shoppers who were moving in the right direction. The man allegedly did not turn around to go in the correct direction of the one-way-traffic aisle.
Shanchuk later told the Newtown Police Department:
"[She] felt it necessary [to] enforce [the store's safety measures herself."
When her verbal approach to correct the man did not work, Shanchuk allegedly removed her mask long enough to spit in the man's face before continuing on with her shopping.
The Newtown Police Report stated:
"[Shanchuk] stopped in the aisle to prevent [the man] from continuing down the aisle in the wrong direction. [She] continued to yell at the other individual in the store and that because he was not listening to her she removed her face mask and spit in the male's face."
Shanchuk's story was shared to Twitter, where many were appalled or angry at her approach to correcting the situation.
Some pointed out how much of a health risk this was.
@RealJamesWoods That stupid woman's actions were more of a health threat to the male than his walking the wrong way… https://t.co/nFmyCYA9I3— Tammy (@Tammy)1590614766.0
@RealJamesWoods @BetsyCarsonUSA I would have not worn a mask, but spitting, coughing or even getting up in someone’… https://t.co/31U3G3lZGy— PI Joyce (@PI Joyce)1590613400.0
@RealJamesWoods Seems logical right. I mean instead of saying excuse me you’re a little close it’s completely okay… https://t.co/V5ufzViq2e— Amanda Spencer (@Amanda Spencer)1590613089.0
@Mrkamikaze @RealJamesWoods And because she might be Covid positive, it could be assault with a deadly weapon...She… https://t.co/hPfbarjJgt— Joe Pinkerton (@Joe Pinkerton)1590614238.0
Others shared how angry they would be if they were in the man's shoes.
@RealJamesWoods That was me that lady would have been spitting out teeth— Keith Wojo (@Keith Wojo)1590613207.0
@RealJamesWoods The man she spit on must have the patience of a Saint. A lot of people would have clocked her for that.— Chesty Puller's Ghost 🇺🇲 (@Chesty Puller's Ghost 🇺🇲)1590613169.0
@RealJamesWoods Anyone ever spits in my face, gets a 👊 in theirs.— Drew Michael (@Drew Michael)1590613202.0
Some simply can't believe how others are interacting during this time.
@RealJamesWoods Last week while at a grocery store I reached for a container of almond milk and a woman wearing a m… https://t.co/fh9vxBkruQ— Maria Leah (@Maria Leah)1590617590.0
@RealJamesWoods I'm worried about the mental health of our nation more than I am worried about the coronavirus.— E.S. (@E.S.)1590613586.0
@RealJamesWoods Wow - I'm just not sure if social distancing or wearing a mask is just making previously decent peo… https://t.co/xZun6k9l41— FinallyQedIn (@FinallyQedIn)1590613324.0
Shanchuk was charged with one misdemeanor count of a second-degree breach of peace, which may result in up to six months of jail time. She is expected to appear in court on July 7 to determine the full extent of her charges.
Though she was clearly trying to help the cause and follow the store's rules, spitting in someone else's face, especially at a time like this, surely does more harm than good.
It's unclear what her final charges will be, but hopefully she and everyone else will leave it up to local authorities or employees the next time she feels the need to step in.