A 66-year-old San Jose woman is due in court next week on an assault charge for intentionally coughing into a baby's face at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, prosecutors said Friday.
Nancy Nordland, who worked as an elementary school teacher at the time of the June 12 incident at a San Jose Yogurtland, left the area soon after and had not been heard from until three weeks ago.
Nordland is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court in San Jose according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. She was charged with misdemeanor assault last summer after the public identified her from surveillance video that was released by authorities.
On June 12, Nordland got into an argument with a woman while waiting in line at a Yogurtland in San Jose. Prosecutors said Nordland did not like how close the woman was standing to her. Following that disagreement, Nordland removed her mask, bent over the 1-year-old child's stroller and coughed three times directly in the child's face, prosecutors said.
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Employees and customers inside the Yogurtland confronted her and Nordland left the store without paying for her food, authorities said.
Police searched unsuccessfully for the suspect, who was later identified as a teacher at Alex Anderson Elementary School in San Jose.
Shortly after the incident, the Oak Grove Union School District announced she was no longer working at the school.
"All of us must practice empathy and patience as we work together through this pandemic," DA Jeff Rosen said in a statement Friday. "Taking your frustrations out on someone's child is unacceptable - and criminal."
Nordland faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. She was not available for comment Friday.