A man from Warrenton, Missouri, was charged with making a terrorist threat after he filmed himself licking a bunch of items at a local Walmart.
“Who’s afraid of the coronavirus?” Cody Pfister, 26, taunts in a video he later posted to social media.
The video spread around the world, and Warrenton police said in a statement to the press that the department had been contacted by people as far away as the Netherlands, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
We take these complaints very seriously and would like to thank all of those who reported the video so the issue could be addressed,” the Warrenton police added in the statement.
According to court records, the video appears to have been filmed on March 11 at the Warrenton Walmart. Pfister was taken into custody this week, and Warren County prosecutors charged him the low-level felony of “inciting a terrorist threat.”
Bizarrely, he’s not the first person to get in trouble with police for licking surfaces as public health officials beg people to wash their hands, keep at least six feet apart and avoid touching their faces in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19. The manager of a grocery store in Wisconsin called police after a woman licked the door handle to a freezer, reportedly to protest the virus, while a manager was disinfecting the store, Newsweek reported.
To date there have been more than 200, 000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and more than 4000 deaths in the United States. The city of St. Louis announced its first death, a woman in her 30s, the same week as Pfister’s arrest.
Pfister was booked into the Warren County jail without bond. He has previous convictions for burglary, theft of a firearm, drug possession and driving while intoxicated.