Man Arrested And Charged With Terrorism For Licking Supermarket Shelves To Mock Coronavirus
Published in Apr 2020 / Updated in Aug 2021
A man has been charged with terrorism threats after filming himself licking items in a supermarket, saying, ‘Who’s afraid of coronavirus?’
Cody Pfister, 26, was arrested after footage of him mocking the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already killed over 75,000 people worldwide, sparked outrage around the globe.
Footage from a Walmart store in Warrenton, Missouri, shows the suspect taking off a face mask and running his tongue along with items on the shelf while looking at the camera.
An on-screen caption reads:
“I’m a nasty moths f***er.”
Authorities in Warrenton received complaints from people as far away as the Netherlands, Ireland, and the UK, helping them track the culprit down.
The City of Warrenton Police Department has since released the following statement about the arrest:
“A local resident who took a video of themselves licking the merchandise after making a ‘Corona Virus’ [sic] statement at Walmart and posting it to social media has been taken into custody. Charges will be pending through the Warren County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.”
“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 footage has provoked outrage worldwide. Piers Morgan called for the culprit to be put behind bars and deprived of healthcare, should he end up contracting coronavirus himself.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, Morgan said:
“What I would like to happen to him is I’d like him found, and I am sure they will get him.”
“I would like him to put in prison immediately. And then I would like him deprived of any healthcare should he get the virus, having tried to give it to potentially lots of other people deliberately.”
“That might concentrate the minds of these morons, and it might concentrate the minds of these morons we have here.”
Pfister isn’t the first person to get in trouble with authorities for licking surfaces. The public health officials advise people to wash their hands, keep at least two meters apart, and avoid touching their faces in hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19.
In Wisconsin, the manager of a grocery store alerted police after a woman licked the door handle to a freezer, reportedly to protest the pandemic, while the manager was disinfecting the store.