Missouri Man Charged With Terroristic Threats For Licking Walmart Products

We recently discussed the bizarre trend of teenagers coughing on fruits and vegetables at stores — and efforts of the police to find the culprits shown on social media. In the prior blog, I raised the possibility of prosecutors charging such pranksters with terroristic threats. Now, in Missouri, Cody Pfister, 26, has been arrested and charged with making terrorist threats due to his taking and posting video of himself licking products in a store.

On social media, Pfister, asked “Who’s afraid of the coronavirus?” and then showed himself licking items at a Walmart in Warrenton. In a Facebook Post, the Warrenton police said that the outrage was international and they “have received numerous reports about the video from locals, nearby residents, as well as people from the Netherlands, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.”

The statute allows for charges based on recklessness that causes panic. It is a definition that allows for a criminal “reckless disregard” charge. I have no sympathy for these moronic individuals. However, this “coronavirus challenge” trend appears to be a dare rather than a threat.

This places us all in a difficult position legally. This prank or challenge is causing panic, particularly for the most vulnerable in our nation. The “coughing prank” has led a store to throw out 35,000 of produce that is badly needed in this crisis. I expect that these charges will multiply until these young people are deterred from these acts of utter stupidity:

574.115.  Making a terrorist threat, first degree — penalty. — 1.  A person commits the offense of making a terrorist threat in the first degree if such person, with the purpose of frightening ten or more people or causing the evacuation, quarantine or closure of any portion of a building, inhabitable structure, place of assembly or facility of transportation, knowingly:

  (1)  Communicates an express or implied threat to cause an incident or condition involving danger to life; or

  (2)  Communicates a false report of an incident or condition involving danger to life; or

  (3)  Causes a false belief or fear that an incident has occurred or that a condition exists involving danger to life.

  2.  The offense of making a terrorist threat in the first degree is a class D felony.

  3.  No offense is committed under this section by a person acting in good faith with the purpose to prevent harm.

  574.120.  Making a terrorist threat, second degree — penalty. — 1.  A person commits the offense of making a terrorist threat in the second degree if he or she recklessly disregards the risk of causing the evacuation, quarantine or closure of any portion of a building, inhabitable structure, place of assembly or facility of transportation and knowingly:

  (1)  Communicates an express or implied threat to cause an incident or condition involving danger to life; or

  (2)  Communicates a false report of an incident or condition involving danger to life; or

  (3)  Causes a false belief or fear that an incident has occurred or that a condition exists involving danger to life.

  2.  The offense of making a terrorist threat in the second degree is a class E felony.

  3.  No offense is committed under this section by a person acting in good faith with the purpose to prevent harm.

  574.125.  Making a terrorist threat, third degree — penalty. — 1.  A person commits the offense of making a terrorist threat in the third degree if he or she, with criminal negligence with regard to the risk of causing the evacuation, quarantine or closure of any portion of a building, inhabitable structure, place of assembly or facility of transportation, knowingly:

  (1)  Communicates an express or implied threat to cause an incident or condition involving danger to life; or

  (2)  Communicates a knowingly false report of an incident or condition involving danger to life; or

  (3)  Causes a false belief or fear that an incident has occurred or that a condition exists involving danger to life.

  2.  The offense of making a terrorist threat in the third degree is a class A misdemeanor.

  3.  No offense is committed under this section by a person acting in good faith with the purpose to prevent harm.

37 thoughts on “Missouri Man Charged With Terroristic Threats For Licking Walmart Products”

  1. Missouri Man Charged With Terroristic Threats For Licking Walmart Products

    This is another example of government seeking to criminalize every aspect of human nature (including Cody Pfister’s childish stunt).

    Cody Pfister is not a criminal/terrorist he is however a young man who is in need of mental health screening and adult supervision.

  2. These covidiots need a taste of real life:

    https://twitter.com/timjhogan/status/1243000584254472195

    @nytimes
    has video from a hospital in Elmhurst, Queens. It is horrifying.

    “We had to get a refrigerated truck to store the bodies of patients who are dying.”

    “Five ventilators…there’s a mythical 100 ventilators out there that we haven’t seen.”

    ________

    “13 Deaths in a Day: An ‘Apocalyptic’ Coronavirus Surge at an N.Y.C. Hospital”

    “Hospitals in the city are facing the kind of harrowing increases in cases that overwhelmed health care systems in China and Italy.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/25/nyregion/nyc-coronavirus-hospitals.html

    1. ‘Leaders, in various offices, from the President to the head of Health and Hospitals* (are) saying things like: “We’re gonna be fine. Everything’s fine.” And from our perspective, everything is not fine.

      I don’t have the support that I need and even just the materials that I need, physically, to take care of my patients.

      And it’s America, and we’re supposed to be a first-world country.’ – ER doc, NYC

      (* NYC Health + Hospitals)

      1. While I agree with efforts to keep people from panicking, everything is most assuredly not fine. We lack enough PPE for any major outbreak. We lack enough ventilators for any major respiratory illness pandemic. I am moved and grateful at how many private companies have stepped up, without being forced, to offer their services.

        It’s a war out there.

        I also disagree with President’s Trump’s eagerness to get people back to work. Not yet. You don’t go mixing the population up more than it already is when we don’t have enough ventilators and masks to deal with the outbreak we have to date.

        I am also extremely frustrated with how many people refuse to obey the quarantine rules. They have parties, pack trails, and if Disneyland hadn’t closed, it would be booming. My friends live south of me, and they said that when they ventured out to go grocery shopping, it was hopping. People were all over the place, running non essential errands and chatting with each other.

        It’s useless for most of the population to quarantine if a very active minority do their level best to spread it to as many people as possible. Florida Spring Breakers, I’m talking to you. They go home to their families under quarantine. They contaminate grocery stores that quarantined people need to shop at.

        And while I’m venting, why in the heck haven’t grocery stores switched to online ordering? It would keep their own employees safe if they kept the public out of their stores, and for the most part, simply dropped off prepaid orders on a doorstep. I can order some things through Target’s online site, but most of the essentials you have to go in for.

    2. That’s terrible. As an asthmatic, I’m at high risk for cover-19 complications.

      My pharmacist can’t even get an N95 mask. I wonder how much longer it will take to get enough PPE out, not only for medical professionals, but for everyone else. I know a lot of private companies have reworked their assembly machines to help turn out more equipment to help fight this plague.

      We need to learn where the gaping holes are in our readiness for these types of disasters. It’s not only pandemics that would require N95 masks. After the 9/11 terrorist attack, there were so many toxins in the air of NYC from the torn apart buildings.

  3. After multiple failures to weaken and unseat a duly-elected president who was on an inexorable path to an historic landslide election victory, the DNC (American Communist Party HQ) and the “deep” actors who run it must be investigated for potentially acting to enlist and ally with a foreign and fellow communist power to perpetrate a contrived “outbreak” causing an apparently “intractable” and counterfeit “crisis” which would finally bring down President Trump.

    The “Spanish Flu” in 1918 and the “Wuhan Flu” in 2020 originated in China.

    China must be sued for gross and malicious dereliction and negligence in not eliminating practices which allow viruses to “jump” species from animal to human creating pandemics.

    China must be prosecuted for the criminal act of releasing the “Spanish Flu” and the “Wuhan Flu” as biological weapons.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________

    “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

    – Rahm Emanuel
    ______________

    Teddy Kennedy used a secret message to get the Russians to intervene in Reagan’s 1984 re-election

    ‘We knew senators were doing this sort of thing all the time and we ignored it’

    Allen McDuffee Jul 27, 2017

    “In 1991, Tim Sebastian, a reporter working on a story for the Sunday Times of London, was poring over a trove of documents in Moscow’s Soviet Communist Party Central Archives that Boris Yeltsin, the first president of the new Russian Federation, had just opened after the fall of the Soviet Union.

    A shocking document landed in Sebastian’s carrel. It was a memo dated May 14, 1983, prepared by KGB chief Viktor Chebrikov and meant only for the eyes of Yuri Andropov, the General Secretary of the Communist Party — the leader of the USSR.

    The subject: “Senator Kennedy’s request.”

    “Comrade Y.V. Andropov,” the memorandum begins, “On 9–10 May of this year, Senator Edward Kennedy’s close friend and trusted confidant J. Tunney was in Moscow. The senator charged Tunney to convey the following message, through confidential contacts, to the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Y. Andropov.”

    Kennedy, already a senator from Massachusetts for two decades at the time of the memo, had turned to John Tunney, his University of Virginia law school roommate and a former U.S. senator from California, to act as a conduit between him and the Kremlin. The purpose of the liaison was to “root out the threat of nuclear war,” “improve Soviet-American relations” and “define the safety of the world,” according to the KGB memo.

    Chebrikov wrote that Kennedy, “like other rational people, is very troubled by the current state of Soviet-American relations,” especially in light of other global conflicts in the Middle East and Asia, not to mention President Ronald Reagan’s plans to deploy mid-range nuclear weapons in Western Europe. According to the memo, Kennedy was particularly concerned about Reagan’s refusal to consider alternatives to his stances on matters of politics — and especially foreign policy — because the “well publicized improvement of the economy” and the general “success of Reaganomics” allowed him to pursue his global affairs agenda unfettered.

    Kennedy’s proposal was simple: The senator would help Andropov in dealing with Reagan, if the Soviet Union would help the Democratic Party in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election.”

    – Timeline

    https://timeline.com/teddy-kennedy-used-a-secret-message-to-get-the-russians-to-intervene-in-reagans-1984-re-election-e4d45af01368

    1. George – just watched a really interesting PBS special on the 1918 Spanish flu. Really interesting stuff.

      Your comments interest me as well, the one about taking down a plane.

      I tried to get some info on my grandfather who was hit by a military plane while flying in a private jet. The FOIA gave me zippo about what I was looking for, so I’m trying some other routes.

      Always find when military jets collide with private jets, or giant planes of innocent ppl are brought down in freak accidents…makes me think someone important happened to be on that flight…yeah, yeah, accidents happen, but some flight crashes are just strange.

      1. This is me, btw, Wally World 33, aka WW33, fka Dorothy and Lilith (the infamous rat terrier), dba Moose and Mother Earth. 😁😁😁

          1. 🤔😒😂. I just didn’t want to write out Wally World each time, so shorthand. The FOIA was worthless, interesting, but worthless. All the plane passengers on the private jet were former FBI under Hoover, and the military jet just hit them midair and ejected. Yeah, sounds funny…

  4. There was a guy on death row in Texas whose first name was Fred.
    On his moment of execution he was asked if he had a final word. He said:. “I would rather be dead than Fred.”
    The next two years the use of that name for newborns plummeted.

  5. Speaking of law enforcement, where in the world is John Durham?

    What happened to the prosecution of the Obama Coup D’etat in America?
    ___________________________________________________________

    “Pancho and Lefty”

    All the Federales say they could’ve had him any day
    They only let him slip away out of kindness I suppose

    A few gray Federales say they could’ve had him any day
    They only let him go so long out of kindness I suppose

  6. After a proper trial with due process, FLOGGING or CANING can be administered humanely without causing permanent injury. The offender will be deterred and the deterrent effect on observers will be just as strong.

    Singapore is a peaceful and orderly and free country and they use CANING and the US should too

    https://singaporelegaladvice.com/law-articles/caning-singapore-judicial-school-parental-corporal-punishment/

    jail is a disease vector and a place where criminals prey on each other and learn worse methods. we must get past jail for every offense. PAIN was the traditional punishment because it worked

    1. Every offense?

      About 40% of those convicted in this country are remanded to state prison. The rest either get your vaunted ‘alternatives to incarceration’ or they receive time in county jails. (The mean time those admitted to county jail actually spend there is measured in weeks).

      1. no not every offense

        I think we should have criminologists who are serious and credible make a study of the effectiveness of corporal punishment in places like singapore and implement them were it has been proven efficacious

        i suspect for things like DUI, it might prove a “sobering” reality

        i also have compassion for people who are incarcerated for DUI and then end up victims of violence in jail or have to commit violence and incur more time in jail just to survive. that is a real thing.

        flogging or caning can provide a fast and effective correction, without the downside risks and expenses of incarceration

        I am serious and I would beg law professors to give this a chance. i begged them to consider it decades ago in law school and nobody listened. in that time mass incarceration grows and punishment remains ineffective. all that time Singapore has been marching along and is now one of the most desirable residencies in the entire world

      2. “1,700 jail inmates in L.A. County released over coronavirus concerns, sheriff says.”

        At least 1,700 jail inmates have been released from custody in Los Angeles County over fears of the spreading coronavirus, Sheriff Alex Villanueva said Tuesday. Villanueva told reporters during an afternoon conference call that none of the inmates released are considered a threat to the public. On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said he was ruling out freeing any violent offenders. The sheriff confirmed 1,700 inmates were released by late Monday. He said 30% of the roughly 15,000 inmates in the county are considered homeless, another population health authorities have described as vulnerable to contracting and transmitting the virus. Last Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported about 6% of the jail population had already been freed over a 3-week period. Even while allowing for the release of inmates, Newsom expressed concern over what could happen if those same people end up without a home once they’re out. “If we start to release prisoners that are not prepared with their parole plans, they may end up out on the streets and sidewalks, in a homeless shelter,” Newsom said. “If we don’t prepare people to get back on their feet, they may end up in the emergency rooms.”

        – KTLA 5

  7. When this idiot is found guilty, sentence him to a few years of emptying bed pans and giving sponge baths to senior citizens in an extended care facility.

    1. FLOGGING should be reinstated i’m completely serious

      incarceration is insufficient to deter low grade miscreants. humane paid which is not permanently injurious, is sufficient

      https://singaporelegaladvice.com/law-articles/caning-singapore-judicial-school-parental-corporal-punishment/

      under stiuations of pandemic, jail is a disease vector. detain for a speedy trial, according to due process, and if found guilty then perform the punishment. society will benefit.

  8. This brat, and other copy cats like him, are the products of parents that set no limits, a society that makes everyone a victim, and a public school system that increasingly churns out unemployables who can’t think for themselves.

  9. It is not a harmless dare. When people lick food, such as ice cream, they can spread herpes, the flu, Covid-19…any number of things. That is why human saliva is considered an Other Potentially Infectious Material (OPIM) by OSHA.

    It takes supplies out of the supply chain during a pandemic. Stores are forced to throw out, and waste, thousands of products.

    It hurts the businesses that make those products, at a time when jobs are scarce, and many businesses are hanging on by their fingernails. Blue Bell Creamery is now infamous for making the ice cream targeted in several of these licking episodes. Now people associate it with someone peeling off the lid and licking the ice cream.

    Personally, I think it creates an incentive to put a tamper resistant film over the lid. This creates more plastic waste, but gives peace of mind.

    These are not just dumb pranks. They worsen food shortages, hurt companies, and worse yet, could easily spread disease. Given the tension today, with so many people out of work, stressed looking at empty shelves, frankly these teens are at risk of getting the snot beaten out of them by an angry mob.

  10. If you’re a 20-something White trash loser in Warrenton Missouri, Cody is a cool guy to party with.

    1. Note the gratuitous racial reference. Liberals always award themselves plenary indulgences for this sort of thing.

  11. Again, overwhelmingly Americans are acting as requested and responsibly. Too much coverage of the freaks gives a false dystopian picture of reality. If we were that bad we wouldn’t have gotten where we are – the most just civilization ever with the fewest humans per capita dying at the hands of others or from famine and pestilence and the longest life span and most wealth, including in the 3rd world. Yeah, we’re the problem in many ways, but we;re the solution too.

  12. Avoid smokers. The virus can run in the air with the smoke. Two risks: cancer and virus.
    Dumb smokers need to be caged.
    If you have a kid or offspring who smokes and you don’t, then say: bye. You will live longer.

  13. It is like rape when the notion of punishment comes up. Rapist:. Cut off his dong and balls.
    Licker: Cut off one inch of his/her tongue.

  14. Callous desire to create panic when a legitimate panic is all too possible ought to be rewarded with stern measures. I think the felony penalties are appropriate.

  15. I don’t care what statutory provision they use. Clap him in jail. Escort him in front of a local JP for a Wapner hearing, then send him back to jail. For a year.

  16. If the current products of our Federal education systems will eat Tide Pods is there any room for wonder at this latest incident. Combine the education, or lack thereof, with a multicultural miasma of moral uncertainty and who is surprised?

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