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Fecal Matter Sprayed On Produce At Grocery Store

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A South Carolina man has been arrested after he was seen spraying fecal matter onto produce at a local grocery store.

Pau Hang, 41, was charged with damage to personal property and trespassing after he entered a Harris Teeter grocery store in the Charleston area on Oct. 15 and started spraying brown, foul-smelling liquid onto the produce, according to WSOC-TV.

Hang, who was a former contractor at the store, was ordered to stay away from the premises in November 2015.

The manager called 911 when he saw Hang and estimates it will cost him $3,000 to throw away all the infected produce and to properly clean the cases.

“I think it’s crazy," shopper Maggie Laney told WCSC. "I mean I think there’s a bunch of crazy people I guess out in the world, and I don’t know what would motivate you to do something like that. But it’s a shame."

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Another shopper, who was in the store at the time of the incident, said she saw employees section off the produce department and other departments nearby.

"I just thought it might have been another recall," she said. "But as I worked my way around the grocery store and headed back towards the deli, they started closing off the bread aisle and closing off all the pre-cooked food." 

She added: "Before I left the store, 90 percent of the produce department was already taken off the shelves."

The brown liquid was later tested and confirmed to be fecal matter, according to The Post and Courier. Police then charged Hang with an additional count of malicious tampering with a human drug product or food item. 

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After an inspection from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the store was allowed to restock its produce Oct. 16.

"The [health department] has thoroughly inspected the St. Andrews Shopping Center Harris Teeter and confirmed that the company took appropriate action in response to the incident that occurred yesterday," Harris Teeter spokeswoman Danna Robinson said in a statement. "Affected areas of the store have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, and the local and state regulators have given us permission to re-open our departments."

Police say Hang told officers he contaminated the produce because the store "owed him money." Since November 2015, Hang has been charged with trespassing seven times. 

Staff at the store also said that they've spotted him "frequently."

This was the first time the store has dealt with a contamination attempt.

Hang was held in lieu of $200,465 bail, reports WSOC-TV. His jail records have yet to list an attorney.

Sources: WSOC-TV (2), WCSC, The Post and Courier / Featured Image: rick/Flickr / Embedded Images: Cannon Detention Center via The Post and Courier, Mike Kalasnik/Flickr

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