Texas teen accused of threatening to spread coronavirus is charged

Janelle Griffith
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Texas teen accused of threatening to spread coronavirus is charged

A Texas teenager who police said announced on social media she would intentionally spread the coronavirus has been arrested and charged with making a terroristic threat.

Police in Carrollton, near Dallas, arrested Lorraine Maradiaga, 18, late Tuesday morning after arranging her surrender to the city jail.

"Maradiaga has stated that she is COVID-19 negative, and we currently have no proof that Maradiaga has tested positive," Carrollton police said in a statement.

She was arraigned Tuesday and her bond was set at $20,000. As a condition of her bond, she must quarantine for 21 days upon date of release from custody as a precaution, police said.

Maradiaga claimed in a series of Snapchat videos to have tested positive for and to be "willfully spreading" COVID-19, the disease associated with coronavirus, according to police.

It is unclear when the videos were recorded. Jolene DeVito, a Carrollton police spokeswoman, said people started sharing them with police on Saturday.

One of the videos showed Maradiaga at a store, DeVito said.

"I'm here at Walmart about to infest every motherf------, because if I'm going down, all you motherf------ are going down," she said in the video, according to DeVito.

It is unclear if Maradiaga has an attorney.