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

"He absolutely does not represent our values and no longer works at our agency," the CEO of Ted Todd Insurance said Tuesday.

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By Janelle Griffith

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.

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The man in the video was identified by social media users as Daniel Maples, a salesman at Tedd Todd Insurance. He confirmed it was him in an interview with the Fort Myers News-Press, part of the USA Today network. Maples, 42, of Fort Myers, has not returned requests for comment.

The 17-second clip begins with a voice saying, "We are six feet away from you," to which Maples 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." Maples shouts: "Back up! Threaten me again!"

Maples 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 Maples out of the store following the outburst "and monitored him until he left."

The video has been viewed more than 11 million times.

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."

Maples told the Fort Myers News-Press that he does not like wearing a mask because it is uncomfortable.

"After a while I start to feel like I'm suffocating. I get claustrophobic and that's an issue for me," Maples said. "I prefer not wear the mask. It’s something that causes me a lot of distress."

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.

Maples also said the video does not show the full story. He said there was an unrecorded interaction between him and the man who recorded the video.

"I remember someone saying something to me about 'I have cancer, I have cancer.' I replied, 'Well my father died of cancer,'" he told the Fort Myers News-Press, adding that he did not understand why a woman was yelling at him about that.

Maples said he was confronted by multiple people for not wearing a mask in the store.

"It was like the mob was gathering around me and I felt threatened," Maples said. "I wanted to remove myself from the situation and I did."

After he walked away from the confrontation and to the front of the store, the man who recorded the video came toward him in an aggressive manner with his phone out, Maples said.

"In that moment I was scared. I'm not a fighter, I'm not a person that deals with this on a daily basis," he said. "I don’t know how to manage this."

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.