Albemarle, NC – A Stanly County man was arrested on Friday after he terrified Walmart customers a couple of days earlier by livestreaming that he was positive for coronavirus as he shopped.
The incident occurred on March 18 in the Albemarle Walmart when the man filmed the Facebook Live video as he walked through the big box store, WRAL reported.
The video went viral and scared many Stanly County and North Carolina residents into thinking they might have been exposed.
The Albemarle Police Department was slammed with calls from worried residents who wanted to know if the video was real, WRAL reported.
“Definitely tested positive for coronavirus,” the man told Facebook Live as he strolled through the Walmart doing what many interpreted as spreading his germs.
“Definitely was asked to self-quarantine for 14 days. Fourteen to 21 days,” the man continued. “I’m asymptomatic. My throat’s a little itchy but other than that, I’m not coughing.”
WRAL reported that he continued talking about being infected with coronavirus as he strolled through the store and freaked out numerous people that saw him.
Police investigated and determined that 31-year-old Justin M. Rhodes was the man in the frightening video, WRAL reported.
The Albemarle Police Department said in a post on their official Facebook page that they had contacted health officials and confirmed that no one in Stanly County had tested positive for COVID-19.
Police said in their post that the Criminal Investigations Division was actively investigating the incident.
Rhodes was arrested on Friday and charged with felony perpetrating a hoax in a public building and disorderly conduct, FOX News reported.
He was held on a $10,000 bond at the Stanly County Detention Center.
Rhodes is due to appear in court on March 30, according to FOX News.