Mother of 1-year-old boy 'in shock' after woman in viral coughing incident identified as possible children's educator

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- By now, most people have seen video of a woman who appeared to pull down her face mask and intentionally cough on a one-year-old boy. The incident stemmed from a social distancing dispute, according to the boy's mother.

The alarming encounter was captured on surveillance cameras, inside a San Jose Yogurtland last Friday.

RELATED: 'Despicable': District officials respond after teacher allegedly coughs on baby in SJ Yogurtland

Moreya Mora is the mom who rushed to shield her son after he was coughed on. She's sending this message to the woman behind the act: "I don't understand why you're not turning yourself in, knowing that you did something wrong."

Since Mora posted about the incident online, a person-of-interest has been voluntarily identified by her employer: the Oak Grove School District (OGSD) in San Jose.

By Thursday afternoon, the district said it had received threats of violence, or damage to schools.

A statement published by the district read in part:

"Violence or damage to our students' schools only serves to harm the very population that those who are emailing the District seek to protect: our kids."

"If Oak Grove School District is saying that their priority is the children, their safety is their priority, and they're not going to tolerate this behavior from any of their employees, then she needs to be fired," Mora said.

The single-mom continued, "That's not my message here- for people to retaliate or damage to the school. That's not what I want. I want legal action to be taken and for her to get charged for her assault to my son."

RELATED: Man accused of racism after blocking SF Latino man from entering his own building

Mora said she doesn't want people sending the woman threats or attacking her. Instead, Mora wants to see an arrest.

In that same statement, Oak Grove School District said:

"The District has been directed by SJPD not to take any action in this matter while the SJPD investigation is pending. We have been in regular contact with SJPD and have offered the full support and cooperation of the District in their investigation. We have also informed SJPD that a prompt investigation into this matter is critical so that the District can take all action available to it in addressing this incident if it does turn out to involve a District employee."

OGSD added, "The employee who has been identified as a person of interest in this matter is currently off of work and not providing any services to our District students."

Regarding any potential action, the statement read, "If the District receives confirmation from SJPD that the individual involved in the Yogurtland incident is our employee, we will take immediate action."

"I am in shock she works with children," Mora said. "I am shocked that it hasn't been confirmed that she's fired from the school district completely, and not transferred."

Mora said the entire incident happened during a dispute over social distancing.

RELATED: Epidemiologists explain what's helping and hurting COVID-19 containment

Legal experts explained the woman behind the cough could face charges.

"Because of the fact that it's an adult who appears to be doing something in retaliation to a child," attorney Stephanie Rickard said, "I think it's likely they would file for misdemeanor battery."

Thousands have since signed an online petition, calling for the woman-of-interest to be fired from her job as an educator.

Many posting their disbelief that a woman who works with children is capable of coughing in the face of another.

"My son is traumatized. He does not sleep through the night no more. He's been having nightmares. He's been getting very scared," Mora shared about her son. "And no apology would... No, it would not make a difference."

ABC7 News has reached out multiple times and through different avenues to offer the woman-of-interest a chance to respond to these serious allegations. We have not heard back.

If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic hereRELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.