A Florida insurance salesman was fired from his job after he was caught on viral video aggressively shouting obscenities in response to a request to wear a required face mask while shopping in Costco.
The clip was shot at a Costco in Fort Myers in late June, and has so far amassed nearly 12 million views since it was shared to Twitter by Billy Corben, the Miami filmmaker tweeted.
In the video, the man — whose shirt reads “Running the World Since 1776” — is not wearing a mask, and is asked by the person filming the video to remain six feet away.
“You’re harassing me,” the man says, before growing aggressive and shouting as he comes closer to the person filming while flexing his upper body in a threatening manner. “I feel threatened. Back off. Threaten me again. Back the f— up, put your f— phone down.”
Bowden said the shouting was directed toward a man who stepped in after an elderly woman asked the man in the red shirt to put on a mask.
Costco has required all customers to wear a mask since May 4, with exceptions only for children under 2 and people with medical conditions.
The man in the video was identified as Daniel Maples by the Fort Myers News-Press. He did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Maples had reportedly worked since 2016 for Ted Todd Insurance, though the company announced on Twitter that he had been fired in light of the video.
“Thank you to everyone for their comments and messages raising awareness about a former employee at Ted Todd Insurance. Their behavior in the video is in direct conflict with our company values and their employment has been terminated,” the company wrote.
CEO Charley Todd followed with an additional statement in which he said his company would immediately review its existing culture.
“Threatening behavior and intimidation go against our core mission to be trusted advisors in our community,” Todd wrote.
Corben said he obtained the video from the man who filmed the encounter, and shared it with his many followers on Twitter with the hashtag #BecauseFlorida.
“The idea that we’re politicizing a public health crisis, we’re beyond that. This is costing lives,” he told the News-Press. “There are people getting sick who shouldn’t be getting sick. There are people dying who shouldn’t be dying, because we are run by mayors and presidents who don’t believe in science.”
Florida has seen a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, and as of Thursday afternoon, had at least 223,775 cases and 3,888 deaths attributed to the virus, according to The New York Times.
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