- SCREENGRAB/WARREN COUNTY POLICE
- Cody Pfister filmed himself licking items at Walmart, authorities say.
A Warrenton man was charged with making a terrorist threat after he filmed himself licking bunch of items at 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 the department had been contacted by people in 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," police said in the statement.
The video appears to have been filmed on March 11 at the Warrenton store, according to court records. Pfister was taken into custody this week, and Warren County prosecutors charged him today. The charge is a low-level felony.
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
There have been more than 44,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and more than 500 deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The city of St. Louis announced its first death, a woman in her 30s, just yesterday.
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.
We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected] or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.
- Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get the latest on the news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.
- Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.