Authorities: Woman yelled 'I am a schoolteacher and have COVID-19' before spitting in man's face

  • Elizabeth H. Mach

    Elizabeth H. Mach

Updated 7/9/2020 7:59 PM

A 45-year-old woman has been charged with battery and disorderly conduct after yelling "I am a schoolteacher and have COVID-19" before spitting in a man's face during a confrontation at a Mettawa store last month, authorities said.

Lake County sheriff's deputies arrested Elizabeth H. Mach at her Highland Park home without incident Wednesday, according to a news release issued Thursday morning.


On June 16, Mach was near the checkout area of the Mettawa store when a 50-year-old man who had paid for his purchases and was in the process of leaving took off his face mask, according to the news release.

Seeing this, Mach rammed her shopping cart into the man's cart and began yelling at him to put his mask back on because he was not yet outside the building, the release said.

Police said the man ignored her and Mach continued yelling, saying she was a schoolteacher and had COVID-19. She removed her face mask to spit in the man's face before fleeing the scene in her vehicle, according to police.

Sgt. Chris Covelli, a spokesman for the sheriff's office, said investigators do not know whether Mach ever had COVID-19 or whether she works as a teacher. Covelli said investigators do not believe the 50-year-old man contracted COVID-19 after the confrontation.

A judge set Mach's bail at $40,000. Mach posted $4,000 Wednesday night and was released. She is due back in court on July 29.

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