'I feel threatened': Unmasked Florida man's viral Costco outburst cost him his job

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Janelle Griffith
·2 min read
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A man's outburst at a Costco in Florida that was caught on video has cost him his job.

A video of the incident was posted to Twitter on Monday night by filmmaker Billy Corben.

"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," Corben tweeted.

Corben credited the video to a Twitter account set to private.

The 17-second clip begins with a voice saying, "We are six feet away from you," to which the man responds, "You are harassing me and my family." He then says something inaudible before walking toward the camera and yelling, "I feel threatened!"

The person recording the video says, "You're coming close to me." The man shouts: "Back up! Threaten me again!"

The man starts to walk away, then turns around, walks toward the camera and says: "Back the f--- up. Put your f------ phone down!"

In a subsequent tweet, Corben said the incident occurred at a shopping center in Fort Myers on June 27.

A spokeswoman for the Lee County Sheriff's Office told NBC News on Thursday that it responded to a 911 call at about 1:23 p.m. that a man was trespassing at the Costco. The suspect was gone when officers arrived, she said.

One of the customers who was the target of the rant told Corben that Costco employees escorted the man out of the store following the outburst "and monitored him until he left."

The video has been viewed more than 11 million times.

The man in the video was identified on social media as a salesman at Tedd Todd Insurance, although NBC News has not been able to independently identify the man.

Tedd Todd Insurance CEO Charley Todd addressed the episode on Twitter.

"He absolutely does not represent our values and no longer works at our agency," Todd tweeted Tuesday afternoon. "We are working with Allstate to release a statement shortly. Wear a mask."

In a statement on its Facebook page, the company said: "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 also said, "Threatening behavior and intimidation go against our core mission to be trusted advisors in our community."

Costco requires every employee and customer in its stores to wear masks that cover the mouth and the nose to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

In May, a Costco worker was lauded online for his handling of an encounter with a customer who recorded himself berating the worker and refusing to wear a mask.

As of Wednesday morning, Florida had 223,783 coronavirus cases, with 3,889 deaths, according to state health data.