A man has been charged with making a terrorist threat after he mocked the severity of the coronavirus pandemic by licking various items in Walmart on camera.
A Missouri man was charged with making a terrorist threat after footage spread of him licking a number of items inside a Walmart store, in an attempt to mock the panic surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. 26-year-old Cody Pfister uploaded the video of himself on social media, in which he can be heard asking his viewers "who's afraid of the coronavirus?" He then proceeds to run his tongue across some of the merchandise inside the Warrenton, Missouri store. The video was widely shared across the Internet, leading numerous complaints to be filed about the threat that Pfister's actions pose during these dire times.
The City of Warrenton Police Department issued a statement earlier this week, addressing the situation. "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 reads. "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 Warren County Sheriff's Office applauded the police department for taking action, noting how "frustrating" it is "that we have to waste valuable resources on calls like this during these trying times."
Pfister has officially been charged with making a terrorist threat due to his reckless behaviour. The charge is considered a low-level felony.