Texas’ Leander Police Department announced on Sunday they had identified a male suspect involved in the assault of a grocery store cashier over the store’s meat purchasing limit. According to a post shared on the department’s Facebook page, at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, the man was captured by a surveillance camera assaulting a cashier at HEB.
The incident allegedly occurred because the suspect was upset about the purchasing limit on meat products. According to police, video surveillance footage shows him throwing an individually packaged steak along with a bag of lettuce at the cashier, and he is then seen driving away in his car. The suspect was identified within a day of the department sharing a surveillance photo of the man and requesting the public’s assistance in finding him.
The disruption in the meat supply chain has been caused primarily by major meat companies such as Tyson Foods and Smithfield Foods temporarily shutting down their meat-processing facilities due to massive COVID-19 outbreaks among employees. Although plants are beginning to reopen this week due to an executive order from US President Donald Trump, many grocery stores have still had to set meat purchasing limits.
Tyson Foods resumed “limited production” on Monday at its pork processing plant in Logansport, Indiana, where nearly 900 employees had tested positive for the novel coronavirus, reported the Associated Press. The JBS pork plant in Worthington, Minnesota, just an hour east of Smithfield’s massive South Dakota plant, is set for a partial reopening on Wednesday.