Florida Woman Who Coughed on Cancer Patient in Viral Video is Arrested

A woman who was filmed coughing on a cancer patient in Florida has been arrested, it has been revealed.

Debra Hunter, 52, was charged with assault following an incident at a Pier 1 Imports store in St. Johns Town Center mall in Jacksonville last month, according to a warrant obtained by First Coast News.

The incident was recorded by Heather Sprague, who identified herself as being a mother of 10 with a brain tumor while posting the clip online.

Sprague said she started recording the Hunter because she was "screaming, swearing, insulting, and threatening the staff" as she demanded to return an item she didn't have with her.

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"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," Sprague said.

"I stood at a distance, pulled out my phone and wordlessly began filming. She immediately turned her attention away from the staff to me."

After realizing she is being filmed, the suspect makes an obscene gesture at the camera before adding: "I think I'll get real close to you and cough on you then, how's that?"

Hunter then coughs in close proximity on Sprague before turning away and saying, "a**hole."

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The clip has since been viewed more than 4.1 million times.

"I did not speak, react, or engage," Sprague wrote on Facebook. "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. I'm off to find a Covid test."

"Thanks Karen*cough, cough*," she added, in reference to the term used to describe usually white women who are found to act in a number of ways including calling the police on black people for no reason, yelling at store workers or not accepting that the rules apply to them.

According to a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office report, the complaint said she notified Pier 1 about the incident but "did not want to make a knee jerk reaction" and call the police. She only notified police about the coughing four days later.

She told officers that she had also started to feel unwell in the wake of the incident.

According to News 4 Jax, Hunter, 52 was booked into the Duval County jail on July 22 after being charged with misdemeanor assault and released the same day after posting bond.

Sprague previously said she is receiving care at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville for her tumor.

Pier 1
A Pier 1 Imports sign is seen on April 19, 2019 in Miami, Florida. A woman who was filmed coughing on a cancer patient at a Pier 1 store in Florida has been arrested. Joe Raedle/Getty
Florida Woman Who Coughed on Cancer Patient in Viral Video is Arrested | U.S.