This week, the Grand Rapids Police Department (GRPD) was made aware of several disturbing “challenges” on social media. Examples of these are #coughingchallenge, #grocerystorechallenge and #coronaviruschallenge.

In these disturbing coronavirus pranks people are going into grocery stores and coughing on or acting like they are coughing on produce. In other pranks people are getting close to other people and coughing near them. These pranks have been filmed, and then uploaded to social media.

A recent incident was reported in a Grand Rapids establishment. The business was notified by a patron in the store, and the GRPD was called.

The GRPD intends to review any and all security video footage in attempts to identify people(s) involved in such behaviors, and any applicable criminal charges will be pursued.

With schools closed to allow for social distancing to lessen the spread of the coronavirus this allows for more idle time among children, and especially teenagers. The GRPD is asking parents to monitor their children’s activities, including on social media to discourage the promotion of any such fear-inducing behavior.

The GRPD recognizes that these are difficult times, and are encouraging people to find creative ways to pass time while still practicing safe social distancing guidelines.

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