A Missouri man has been arrested for filming himself licking items at Walmart and charged with making a terrorist threat.
Authorities have identified Cody Pfister of Warrenton, Missouri, as the man shown in a viral video licking toiletries at Walmart and saying, “Who’s scared of coronavirus? Don’t touch your mouth,” KMOV reported.
The video, shared on Tik Tok and Twitter, garnering international concern from viewers in the Netherlands, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers may find offensive. Viewer discretion is advised.
— Antifa Public Watch APW (@WeAreAPW) March 22, 2020
In a Monday Facebook post, the City of Warrenton Police Department announced they had taken the 26-year-old into custody.
“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,” the statement said.
“This particular video, which won’t be shared here, has gained some international attention and we have 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,” the statement concluded.
Court documents say the video was filmed on March 11, and that Pfister has since been charged with a terrorist threat in the second degree, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The court documents say that by posting the video, Pfister “knowingly caused a false belief or fear that a condition involving danger to life existed,” and acted “with reckless disregard of the risk causing the evacuation, quarantine or closure of any portion” of the Walmart he was in.
A docket hearing was scheduled for Wednesday.
As of Wednesday morning, there have been eight COVID-19 related deaths in Missouri, according to KCTV.
Pfister is not the only person to get in trouble for allegedly licking surfaces in stores, despite warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Police responded earlier this month to a call from a manager at a Festival Foods store in Marshfield, Wisconsin, who said a woman licked the handle of a freezer at the grocery store.
Police reported the woman admitted to carrying out the act to “protest” the coronavirus pandemic, Newsweek reported.
“While sanitizing handles in the freezer section store manager Marty reported looking over at a woman who proceeded to look at him and lick the door handle of a freezer door,” the police report read.
The manager quickly cleaned the handle before calling the police.
A CDC report released Monday said COVID-19 can survive on surfaces for at least 17 days.
Despite the longer survival time of COVID-19 on surfaces, the CDC still says the virus is mainly spread from person to person.
“It may be possible 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, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads,” the federal agency says.