Texas Grocery Customer, Upset Over Coronavirus Restrictions, Throws Steak and Lettuce at Cashier on Mother's Day

Texas police say they have identified a man who allegedly threw lettuce and steak at grocery store staff on Mother's Day after becoming enraged about meat purchasing limits amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Facebook post on Sunday by local police shared surveillance images of the man believed to be responsible for the outburst at an HEB grocery store in Leander, a suburb of Austin. The post was quickly updated with news that the man had been identified, although his identity was not released to the public.

"The incident occurred because the male subject was upset about the purchasing limits of meat products," Leander police wrote. "The male subject is seen, in video surveillance, throwing an individual packaged steak and a bag of lettuce at a cashier."

**Update** The suspect has been identified. Thank you to everyone for their help.On 10 May 2020, at approximately...

Posted by Leander Police Department on Sunday, May 10, 2020

The incident was said to have taken place around 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. A surveillance image appears to show a man in a blue shirt and baseball cap leaving the store with a grin on his face. Another image shows someone driving away in a white car, which police said was the man's white Ford Fusion.

Police said they identified the suspect after receiving a call from a 40-year-old man, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The man was banned from the store and cited with criminal trespassing and misdemeanor assault, which could make him liable for a maximum fine of $500.

Newsweek reached out to the Leander Police Department for comment and further information. This article will be updated with any response.

The pandemic has resulted in purchasing limits on several in-demand items going into place at many stores throughout the country. Meat has been a particularly popular target for people seeking to stockpile food.

Fears of shortages have been heightened by outbreaks of the virus reportedly striking down workers at a large number of processing facilities, resulting in some of the facilities closing. Meat suppliers have also been faced with wrongful death lawsuits from the families of workers who died after contracting the virus at work.

Worker shortages have also contributed to concerns that farms could be forced to cull large amounts of livestock without the meat ever entering the supply chain. Millions of animals have reportedly already been euthanized by shorthanded farmers.

In late April, President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act in an attempt to force meatpacking facilities to remain open despite the outbreaks.

Reuters reported on Monday that meat exports to China have dramatically risen during the pandemic, even as U.S. consumers increasingly find the products to be in short supply.

packaged meat
Meat is one of several in-demand items that have been subject to purchasing limits at many grocery stores during the COVID-19 pandemic. ra3rn/Getty