A 26-year-old man’s coronavirus-themed social media video, where he filmed himself licking various deodorants in a Missouri Walmart, has landed him an arrest and a charge of terrorist threat.
In the video that was taped on March 11, Cody Lee Pfister asks viewers, “Who’s scared of coronavirus?” before licking deodorant sticks out for purchase.
Pfister was charged by the Warren County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office with a terrorist threat in the second degree, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“Pfister ‘knowingly caused a false belief or fear that a condition involving danger to life existed,’ court documents state, adding that he acted ‘with reckless disregard of the risk causing the evacuation, quarantine or closure of any portion’ of Walmart,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday.
The 26-year-year reportedly has a healthy rap sheet, previously pleaded guilty to burglary and stealing a firearm in 2013, and pleaded guilty to a 2016 charge of disorderly conduct. Moreover, “Two years later, Pfister pleaded guilty in circuit court to driving while intoxicated, and was given probation,” the report added. “Pfister violated probation and was given jail time, according to court records.”
With fears over the China-originated coronavirus, or COVID-19, taking centerstage in the United States, there have been numerous reports of so-called “coronavirus challenges” and mischief sparked by the virus.
For example, a 21-year-old TikTok “influencer” recently filmed himself licking a public toilet bowl as part of a “coronavirus challenge.”
The influencer, known to the public as “Larz,” said this week that he has tested positive for COVID-19, The Daily Wire noted:
Earlier this month, “Larz” filmed himself walking into a public restroom, squatting next to a toilet bowl and licking it twice, as The Sun reported. The Daily Mail added that “Larz” tweeted, then deleted, “I tested positive for Coronavirus.” The Daily Mail noted, “The post, which includes a video of him languishing in a hospital bed is a far cry from the foul video he posted five days ago of him licking a public toilet seat, which was captioned: ‘RT (retweet) to spread awareness for the Coronavirus.’”
Moreover, a man who coughed on a Wegmans worker and told them he had coronavirus was recently charged with terrorist threat, too.
“A man is facing charges after coughing on a Wegmans employee in New Jersey and claiming he had the coronavirus, authorities said,” USA Today reported Wednesday. “George Falcone, 50, of Freehold Township, was charged with making terroristic threats, harassment and obstruction after officials said he refused to identify himself or provide identification to township police for more than 40 minutes, according to a news release from the state Attorney General’s Office.”
“Gov. Phil Murphy, who mentioned the incident at a news conference Tuesday, said police responded to a call after a man was in a confrontation with a female employee of the supermarket chain and then ‘coughed on the woman and told her after doing so that he had the coronavirus,'” the report added.
Falcone reportedly purposefully coughed on the employee after she told the shopper to step back further from the prepared foods.