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‘You now have COVID’: Police seek man allegedly giving ‘COVID hugs’ at Springfield Walmart

Police said after giving the victim a hug, the suspect reportedly laughed and walked away.

Springfield police are turning to the public for help identifying a man who allegedly gave a Walmart shopper a hug before telling him that he now has COVID-19. 

The incident reportedly happened around 7:10 p.m. on Aug. 15 at the Walmart on Boston Road, where the suspect allegedly took an item out of the victim’s hands and gave him a hug, police said in a Facebook post. 

The Springfield Police Detective Bureau is seeking your help to identify this individual from an incident at the Walmart…

Posted by Springfield Police Department on Friday, August 21, 2020

He then reportedly told the victim, according to police, “Just giving you a COVID hug. You now have COVID.” The suspect allegedly began laughing before walking away. 

Officers said the victim, who is a cancer survivor, had never seen the suspect before. Police noted that the suspect had given other customers hugs as well. 

Anyone with information on the man or his identity is urged to contact the Springfield Police Department’s Detective Bureau at 413-787-6355, contact the department via Facebook messenger, or text SOLVE to 274637.

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