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A man accused of licking items in a Walmart store during the coronavirus outbreak has been charged with making a terror threat.
Cody Lee Pfister, 26, was charged by police in Missouri’s Warren County after what they said was a video of a man “licking the merchandise after making a ‘Corona Virus’ statement at Walmart and posting it to social media.”
The video shows a man saying to the camera “Who’s scared of the coronavirus? Don’t touch your mouth” before licking a row of deodorants on the store shelf.
The US Centers for Disease Control says that a person can get COVID-19 by touching an object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth.
A man who police accused of licking items in a Missouri Walmart has been charged with making a terrorist threat.
Cody Lee Pfister, 26, was charged by the Warren County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office with making the threat after police said he made a video of himself licking items in a Walmart store.
A video posted to social media shows a man saying to the camera: “Who’s scared of the coronavirus? Don’t touch your mouth” before licking a row of items on the store shelf.
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This is the video, re-shared by another Twitter user:
—Ezra Levant 🇨🇳🦠 (@ezralevant) March 22, 2020
A statement from the City of Warrenton Police Department on Monday said that “a local resident who took a video of themselves licking the merchandise after making a ‘Corona Virus’ statement at Walmart and posting it to social media has been taken into custody.”
Pfister was then charged by the Warren County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office with a terrorist threat in the second degree, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
In Missouri, making a terrorist threat in the second degree means ignoring the risk of “causing the evacuation, quarantine or closure of any portion of a building” and is a class E felony, which means it can be met with a prison sentence of up to four years and a fine.
A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, according to the Post-Dispatch.
The Warrington Police Department said on Facebook that people around the world had been in touch to complain about the video. The department said it “received numerous reports about the video from locals, nearby residents, as well as people from 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.”
Pfister’s attorney did not respond to a message from the Post-Dispatch as of Tuesday. According to the Post-Dispatch, he has previously pleaded guilty to charges including burglary and stealing a firearm.
The US Centers for Disease Control has warned that the coronavirus could stay on various surfaces for hours or days, meaning that people could become infected from touching an item that someone infected has touched.
The CDC says that “a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth.”
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