Florida was the center of another coronavirus confrontation this week. This one involved a man who reacted badly after being asked to put on a mask in a Costco store.
In a video shared on Twitter, the man could be seen screaming, “I feel threatened” at Costco customers in Fort Myers. Now, 24 hours after the drama, he has lost his insurance job.
Daniel Maples was a salesman at Tedd Todd Insurance. His role in the virus drama went viral on social media when Miami filmmaker Billy Corben tweeted out the brief clip Monday evening.
“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,” Corben wrote on Twitter.
The clip begins with a male voice saying, “We are six feet away from you,” to which Maples calmly responds, “You are harassing me and my family.” He then says something inaudible before suddenly yelling, “I feel threatened!”
This occurred at the Gulf Coast Town Center location on 6/27 and one of the customers targeted said: "To give Costco the credit, they escorted him out and made me wait inside and monitored him until he left and then they send someone with me to the care to make sure I'm okay."
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) July 7, 2020
Maples starts advancing toward the camera while continuing to scream, “Back off! Threaten me again. Back the f--- up. Put your f---ing phone down.”
Corben later said the incident occurred at a shopping mall in Fort Myers on June 27. One of the customers also told Corben that Costco employees escorted Maples out of the store following the outburst.
The video, which has been retweeted nearly 40,000 times, eventually found its way to Tedd Todd Insurance CEO Charley Todd, who addressed the situation 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.”
Thank you to everyone for their comments and messages raising awareness about a former employee at Ted Todd Insurance. He absolutely does not represent our values and no longer works at our agency. We are working with Allstate to release a statement shortly. Wear a mask. Be love
— Charley Todd (@CharleyTodd) July 7, 2020
Ted Todd Insurance released a statement on Twitter less than an hour later.
“Their behavior in the video is in direct conflict with our company values and their employment has been terminated,” the statement read. “Threatening behavior and intimidation go against our core mission to be trusted advisors in our community.”
Threatening behavior and intimidation go against our core mission to be trusted advisors in our community. We are also committed to immediately reviewing our internal existing culture at TTI. We ask that further feedback be sent to HR@tedtoddinsurance.com
— Ted Todd Insurance (@TedToddAgency) July 7, 2020
A May 4 mandate required all Costco members and employees to wear facial coverings. But that hasn’t stopped people from rebelling. Shortly after the policy was introduced, a video showing an employee confiscating the cart of a customer who refused to wear a mask went viral.
Cases of coronavirus have surged in Florida since mid-June. The Florida Department of Health reported the state’s total number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 210,000 on Tuesday while the death toll climbed to 3,841.