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San Jose Teacher Who Purposely Coughed In Baby's Face Over Distancing Dispute Charged With Assault

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) -- A former San Jose school teacher seen on surveillance video purposely coughing into the face of a baby last year after a disagreement with the child's mother over how closely the mother was standing to her has been charged with assault, authorities said Friday.

Nancy Nordland, 66, who worked at Alex Anderson Elementary School in San Jose, was scheduled to be arraigned on the misdemeanor charge on Tuesday morning.

The incident happened on June 12, 2020 at a Yogurtland store in San Jose. Surveillance video showed a woman later identified as Nordland waiting in front of another woman and a one-year-old sitting in a stroller.

"The defendant did not like how close the woman was standing to her," said a statement from the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. "Following that disagreement, the defendant removed her mask, bent over the infant's stroller and coughed three times directly in the infant's face."

The DA's office said Yogurtland employees and customers then confronted the woman, who left the scene without paying for her yogurt.

After the surveillance footage was released publicly, tips poured into police identifying the woman as a teacher at Anderson Elementary. The principal of the school confirmed to police that Nordland was at work in San Jose on the date of the incident, the DA's office said.

Nordland was scheduled to be arraigned on the misdemeanor on Tuesday at the Hall of Justice in San Jose.

"All of us must practice empathy and patience as we work together through this pandemic," said District Attorney Jeff Rosen in a prepared statement. "Taking your frustrations out on someone's child is unacceptable - and criminal."

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