Missouri Man Charged with Making a 'Terrorist Threat' After Licking Items at a Walmart

Posted: Mar 25, 2020 10:25 AM
Missouri Man Charged with Making a 'Terrorist Threat' After Licking Items at a Walmart

Source: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File

A 26-year-old man in Missouri has been charged with making a terrorist threat after posting a Snapchat video of himself licking items at a Warrenton, MO Walmart. 

"Who's afraid of the coronavirus?" The man, Cody Pfister, can be heard saying in the video. The text "I'm a nasty moths f**ker," is also visible throughout the disturbing clip. 

The video was widely shared and viewed, making its way to Twitter and several other social media platforms. Pfister also uploaded the video to his TikTok account. The hashtag #CoronaVirusChallenge appeared with many of the online posts containing the video, a nod to other young people who posted evidence of themselves ignoring health protocols in the wake of a global pandemic.

After receiving multiple tips, including from within the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Netherlands, Warrenton Police apprehended Pfister on Monday. 

"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 City of Warrenton Police Department said on Monday. "Charges will be pending through the Warren County Prosecuting Attorney's Office."

The charge of making a terrorist threat in the second degree was confirmed on Tuesday. He is currently being held in the Warren County jail without bond. Pfister was previously convicted on charges of firearm theft, driving while intoxicated, burglary, and narcotics possession. The charge is a low level felony in the state of Missouri but it is not yet clear when and if Pfister will stand trial.

Pfister's crime follows a Wisconsin incident over the weekend in which a woman in her 50's was spotted licking the handle of a grocery store freezer as the manager was cleaning and disinfecting the area. In that instance, law enforcement was called to the scene but it was not immediately known if the woman was arrested. 

News of Pfister's charge received praise across social media after many disturbed users found his video to be shocking and appalling. 

"I'd like to thank the Missouri Health Dept., Warren County Prosecuting Attorneys and Warrenton Police Dept., for taking such swift action," one user said.

"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 Warrenton police also said after Pfister's arrest.