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This Missouri man coughed on people at a Dollar Tree. He wrote ‘COVID’ on a cooler, too

He was charged with a terrorist threat

A large billboard sign is displayed at a Dollar Tree store in Richland, Miss., Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
A large billboard sign is displayed at a Dollar Tree store in Richland, Miss., Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
AP

A man from eastern Missouri has been charged with making a terrorist threat after he allegedly coughed on customers and wrote “COVID” on a cooler inside a Dollar Tree store, according to The Associated Press.

What happened:

  • John Swaller, of Cuba, Missouri, was charged Tuesday and held on $25,000 bail, according to the Cuba, Missouri, police department.
  • A Dollar Tree employee called police after Swaller allegedly coughed on customers and breathed into a cooler. He wrote “COVID” on the inside of the cooler, too.
  • The store was closed down immediately and sanitized.

Reaction:

  • According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Swaller’s father said his son has not been diagnosed with COVID-19.
  • His father said Swaller is “healthy as a horse” and he called the allegations “a big lie.”
  • Cuba police Chief Doug Shelton told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch police wore protective gear when bringing Swaller to jail out of fears he has the coronavirus.
  • Shelton said: “I feel that it worries a lot of the residents of Cuba. It has angered a lot of people.”

This happened in Missouri before, too

  • According to The Hill, a Missouri man named Cody Lee Pfister was charged after he allegedly made a video of himself asking people “Who’s scared of coronavirus?” while walking around Walmart.