Manisha Bharade River Vale 7-Eleven store owner busted making fake sanitizer spray that burns four children tooted as sanitizer for Coronavirus.
Manisha Bharade, 47, of Wood-Ridge, was booked on child endangerment charges along with deceptive business practices for mixing foaming sanitizer not intended for resale with water and packaging the mixture in bottles sold in her River Vale store, state and local authorities announced Tuesday.
‘Let me be perfectly clear: If you try to take advantage of our residents during a public health emergency, we will hold you accountable,’ New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said.‘
An apparent chemical reaction from Bharade’s concoction left four young boys — three 10-year-olds and an 11-year-old — burned on Monday, according to Grewal and Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella. Police responded to the 7-Eleven after photos of the bogus products were posted to social media along with a boy who had burns to his arm and leg, River Vale police said.
One of the 10-year-old victims is expected to make a full recovery after being released from a hospital, while the other three boys were less severely burned, WABC reports.
14 bottles sold at $2.50 a pop:
In all, 14 bottles of the mixture were sold to customers — five of which have been turned over to River Vale police. Additional tests will be done to determine the exact makeup of the homemade sanitizer, authorities said.
Police don’t believe Bharade intentionally trying hurt anyone by hawking the dangerous solution, which she sold for $2.50 each, the Daily Voice reports.
‘She wasn’t trying to make a lot of money and obviously didn’t mean to hurt anybody,’ a law enforcement official told the outlet. ‘But she’s no chemist.’
Investigators, believe the spray sanitizer isn’t being sold at other locations throughout the state.
‘While further investigation is underway, our first priority is to make the public aware that they should not use this item if they purchased it at the River Vale 7-Eleven,’ River Vale police Lt. John DeVoe said Monday. ‘As far as we know, this issue is limited to the River Vale store at this time.’
The state’s Division of Consumer Affairs has also launched an investigation into the 7-Eleven’s sale and promotion of health and sanitation products since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, authorities said.
Anyone who bought a bottle of the sanitizer should call River Vale police at (201) 664-1111.
7-Eleven is cooperating with police in an ongoing investigation, company reps told in a released statement.
‘The safety and well-being of 7-Eleven customers is of utmost importance and our hearts are with this young man at this time,’ the statement reads. ‘We are reviewing this matter internally and will take appropriate action.’