Another day, another person caught on camera loudly refusing to wear a mask in public. Footage is going viral this week of a man in a Florida Costco losing it after other customers asked him to put on a mask. Not only is the man’s cry of “I feel threatened!” quickly gaining meme status, but his employer now says he has been dismissed from his job.
The incident reportedly occurred in Fort Myers, Florida on June 27, reports the Fort Myers News-Press. The altercation apparently began when customers confronted Daniel Maples for not complying with the store’s mask policy.
In the video, Maples tells the person filming they are harassing him before raising his voice.
WARNING: The following clip contains explicit language.
Florida man at Fort Myers Costco in “Running the World Since 1776” shirt flips out on elderly woman who asked him to wear a mask and man who defended her #BecauseFlorida (via @profjaffar) pic.twitter.com/PDOvi33qHK— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) July 7, 2020
“I feel threatened!” shouts Maples, advancing toward the camera with clenched fists. “Back up! Threaten me again!” He then begins to walk away before briefly turning back to curse at the person filming.
Florida-based documentary filmmaker Billy Corben shared the video on Monday, June 6. Fort Myers News-Press reports that Corben obtained the video from the customer who filmed it, who declined to be identified.
According to a follow-up tweet by Corben, one of the customers targeted by Maples described the aftermath of the incident to him.
“To give Costco the credit, they escorted him out and made me wait inside and monitored him until he left,” the customer reportedly told Corben. “And then they send someone with me to care to make sure I’m okay.”
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.— Ted Todd Insurance (@TedToddAgency) July 7, 2020
Maples’ employer, Ted Todd Insurance, tweeted that the company fired him after learning about the incident.
“Thank you to everyone for their comments and messages raising awareness about a former employee at Ted Todd Insurance,” the tweet read. “Their behavior in the video is in direct conflict with our company values and their employment has been terminated.”
Masks in Public Still Important
Meanwhile, while Costco declined to comment on the specific incident, CFO Richard Galanti stood by the chain’s in-store mask requirements.
“We believe it’s to help slow the spread of the virus,” Galanti told USA Today. “If we’re right, we’re right. If we’re not right, it’s a relatively small inconvenience. We’re not trying to change anybody’s constitutional rights.”
Corben said he felt compelled to share the video in order to promote the wearing of masks in public during the pandemic.
“The idea that we’re politicizing a public health crisis, we’re beyond that,” he told the News-Press. “This is costing lives. 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.”