A 26-year-old Missouri man seen in a social media video licking items at a Walmart to mock fears of the coronavirus pandemic was arrested and charged with terrorist threats.
Cody Lee Pfister posted a video of himself licking deodorants at the Warrenton store on March 11, according to court documents. As he wiped his tongue across the packages he asked, “Who’s scared of coronavirus,” according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Pfister was arrested on Monday.
The City of Warrenton Police Department in a Facebook post that said it received calls from local residents as well as people overseas in the Netherlands, Ireland and the United Kingdom to report the video.
“We take this incident very seriously especially with this infectious disease and the state that the country is in,” Lt. Justin Unger told NBC News. “We take these things seriously to protect our community.”
A criminal complaint states that Pfister “knowingly caused a false belief or fear that a condition involving danger to life existed” by posting the video online. He appeared in court on Wednesday and is due back in May.
An attorney for Pfister could not immediately be reached.
A New Jersey man was charged with making a terroristic threat and harassment after he allegedly purposely coughed on a Wegmans grocery store employee and said he had the coronavirus.
New Jersey’s attorney general said George Falcone, 50, was asked by the employee to step back but instead he leaned forward and coughed in the worker’s face. Falcone then laughed and said he had been infected with the virus, the attorney general said.