Two men were arrested at a Bed Bath & Beyond in New Jersey after an employee saw them engaging in a sex act on one of the store's display beds.
Police said at least one — and possibly both — of the men involved were infected with scabies, a highly contagious condition caused by a parasite burrowed beneath the skin.
Officers who arrested the men at the Route 3 Riverfront shopping center were exposed to the mites, according to police reports.
The store in Clifton, New Jersey, was open at about 5 pm on Monday, January 30, when the men allegedly got down to business.
Detectives investigating the incident said there appears to be no reason or motive behind the offense, according to USA Today.
Detective Lt. Robert Bracken said it is unknown if the suspects were drunk or had taken drugs, but he praised the store's workers for being “proactive in remedying the situation.”
The two men, both aged 28, one from New Jersey, and one from North Carolina, have been charged with lewdness, criminal mischief and possession of marijuana.
The man from New Jersey was also charged with an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
Despite being charged in relation to the crime, the identities of the two men have not been made public due to their scabies. As they are suffering from a health condition, their identities are protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, according to officials.
However, it has been confirmed they are not employees of Bed Bath & Beyond.
The police officers involved in the arrest were on leave to avoid contaminating the rest of the police department.
The booking station had to be disinfected by exterminators to prevent scabies spreading, while the officers were treated at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center.
Jessica Joyce, senior manager of Bed Bath & Beyond's public relations and social media, told USA Today,
Out of an abundance of caution, the incident-related merchandise and display was immediately pulled from the floor and discarded. We will continue to take steps to assure that our store and merchandise continues to be safe for our customers and associates. If any customer feels uncomfortable in our store for any reason, we will of course attempt to address such a situation in an appropriate manner.
She added the incident was “extremely upsetting.”