SAN ANTONIO – A Southtown bar was forced to close temporarily after management was notified of threats on social media of a COVID-19-positive person’s plans to spread the virus.
Jody Bailey Newman, owner of The Friendly Spot at 943 South Alamo St, said she was forced to close her business down for hours after someone posted to social media that they had plans to spread the novel coronavirus at the establishment.
We have received word from a few friends about an unconfirmed report of a Covid positive person posting on social media about heading to The Friendly Spot. As a result, we are taking every precaution and closing for the evening.... https://t.co/pmkJFsmVCC— The Friendly Spot (@thefriendlyspot) June 24, 2020
Newman said the man never showed up following the threat, but the damage had already been done.
Newman said messages she received from concerned customers showed a disturbing Snapchat message. The Snapchat app allows users to capture and share photos or video clips.
“It appeared to have be created by a man who visited the bar and restaurant before,” Newman said of the Snapchat user in question.
Newman said the man said he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was heading to the gym and then to The Friendly Spot to “spread it.”
Newman said her staff immediately jumped into action to prepare for the worst. They gave the last call to the customers that were at the bar and shut the gate to stop any new customers from coming.
Geary Reamy, a criminal law professor at St. Mary’s University, said the person who made the post could potentially be sued for damages.
”It’s also possible to hold somebody criminally responsible for threatening another person with an assault, so assault includes threats,” Reamey said.
Additionally, Reamy said that in some cases, the coronavirus could be viewed as a weapon.
KSAT reached out to the San Antonio Police Department to find out about any possible charges in this case. We were told the information is not currently available, but investigators are looking into it.