'I have the Coronavirus': Man accused of wearing sign, spraying Lysol on merchandise at Joliet Walmart charged

JOLIET, Ill. (WLS) -- A man who Joliet police said wore a sign that said "Caution I have the Coronavirus" while wearing a mask and spraying items at a Walmart with Lysol has been charged.

Last Sunday, police said 19-year-old Tyler Wallace of Joliet and a 17-year-old boy walked into the store in the 1400-block of Route 59.

A man who Joliet police said wore a sign that said "Caution I have coronavirus" while wearing a mask and spraying items at a Walmart with Lysol has been charged.



Wallace put on a surgical mask while wearing the handmade coronavirus sign on his back and sprayed Lysol on produce, clothing and health and beauty items, police said.

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The prank was meant to scare people about the novel coronavirus that has killed hundreds in China and infected thousands before spreading to other countries, including the U.S.

Police said Friday Wallace has been charged with criminal trespass to property, disorderly conduct and retail theft. A 17-year-old boy who police said was with the man has been referred to the Juvenile Justice System.

RELATED: Man wearing 'I have the Coronavirus' sign sprays Lysol on merchandise at Joliet Walmart, causing $10K of damage: police

Tony Prokes was shopping at the Walmart Sunday when he saw the suspect walking around the store spraying Lysol. He kept telling people he was trying to disinfect the area.

"He was spraying all the produce with Lysol," Prokes said.

The store had to be professionally cleaned and dozens of items were thrown out. Walmart estimated the loss of produce at more than $7,300, with an additional cleanup cost of more than $2,400, police said.
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