Massachusetts police have launched a search for a man who gave ‘COVID-19 hugs’ to strangers at Walmart and told them they were now infected with the coronavirus.
Massachusetts police said they are searching for a serial hugger who gave unwelcome ‘COVID hugs’ to customers shopping at Walmart last week.
One cancer survivor, who was a victim, told police the man walked up to him, took an item out of his hands and hugged him.
Springfield police department said the man, yet to be identified, hugged multiple customers at the Springfield store at around 7 p.m. on August 15 before telling them they were now infected with the virus.
“Just giving you a COVID hug. You now have COVID,” the suspect reportedly said.
One of the victims who reported to police said the suspect started laughing and walked away, while also adding that he has never met the man before.
Police have launched a manhunt to apprehend the suspect, with a call on the public to help in identifying the suspect.
The man was captured on surveillance footage wearing a black face mask, black T-shirt and gray camouflage shorts.
Police are searching for the suspect for assault and battery and making terrorist threats, according to police spokesman Ryan Walsh.
Anyone with information about the case, including the suspect’s identity, can contact the detective bureau at 413-787-6355, leave a private message on Facebook or text CRIMES (274637), then type SOLVE and your tip.