Daniel Maples is the man seen in a viral video aggressively confronting two Costco customers in Fort Myers, Florida. According to filmmaker Billy Corben, who shared the video on Twitter, Maples was upset because a woman asked him to wear a mask, and he also targeted a man who defended the woman.
In the video, Maples is seen screaming at the person recording him, “I feel threatened. Back off! Threaten me again. Back the f— off and put your f—— phone down.” The man, wearing a red T-shirt that reads “Running the World Since 1776,” advances several times with his hands balled in fists as he says he feels threatened.
The video has been viewed on Twitter more than 11 million times. Maples has not commented about the incident.
Here’s what you need to know about Daniel Maples:
1. Maples Was ‘Escorted Out’ of Costco, a Witness Said
According to Corben, the incident took place at a Costco at the Gulf Coast Town Center, a shopping mall in Fort Myers. Corben also tweeted that one of the customers who bore the brunt of Maples’ aggression 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.”‘
According to WESH-TV, the incident occurred on June 27. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office told the news station it is investigating.
Costco has mandated masks for all its employees and customers since early May. The company declined to comment about the viral video.
2. The Insurance Company Maples Worked for Says He Was Fired
Maples is an insurance salesman who worked for Ted Todd Insurance, according to his now-deleted Linkedin profile. The company, according to its Twitter page, “provides home, auto, commercial (and) retirement products at offices located throughout Florida.”
A search of the company website for Daniel Maples says the page for him no longer exists, and Maples’ LinkedIn page is no longer visible, even though it appears under a Google search. It previously said Maples worked as a senior insurance agent at Ted Todd Insurance. The company has said it has fired an unnamed employee.
A cached version of his profile on the company’s website shows, “Dan has been with TTI since 2016 and is currently the highest producing sales agent in the company. Starting as the Director of Customer Service before moving into a sales role. Dan adapted quickly to his new role, where his personality and work ethic changed the conversation of what should be expected from a sales agent. Dan’s peers voted him TTI person of the year 2018.”
The website stated that Maples likes, “Hot Yoga, Traveling, cooking, and mentoring others.”
The company announced it had fired an employee whom they did not name, but whose behavior they said was “in direct conflict with our company values.” Maples was previously identified by other Twitter users and the company did not deny he is the one seen in the video.
The company went on to say, “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.”
Charley Todd, the company’s CEO, tweeted, “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.”
3. Maples Worked in the Hotel Industry Before Selling Insurance
Dan Maples is 42 and lives in Fort Myers, according to public records. Maples is a California native, and previously lived in Lakewood, Buena Park, and Long Beach, in California, before moving to Florida in 2005.
According to his now-deleted Linkedin profile, Maples worked in the hospitality industry prior to selling insurance. He worked as the assistant executive housekeeper at a major hotel chain, as an assistant front officer manager and as guest services supervisor at the same chain. He has also worked as a bellman and bell captain.
Some on social media have questioned if Maples was carrying a concealed gun. According to Florida public records, Maples did have a concealed weapon permit that expired in 2010. It is not clear if he has since renewed that license to carry a concealed gun.
4. A Parody Video of a Comedian Pretending to Be Maples’ Wife Has Also Gone Viral … Public Records Show Maples Is Divorced
A parody video posted on Twitter by comedian Blair Erskine has also gone viral, with more than 3 million views on the social media platform. While the video is mocking Maples, some Twitter users didn’t realize it was a parody and believed it was actually his wife. In the video, which you can watch above, Erskine says, “He was not threatened at all … ‘I feel threatened is actually our family’s crest. So we just say it sometimes. Like he said it to me in our wedding vows, he was like, ‘I feel threatened,’ and I was like, ‘I do too.'”
Erskine also jokes, “We don’t wear masks in this family. I have asthma, Dan has asthma, our children, Jackson, Oakland Cemetery and Hydroxychloroquine, they all have asthma when it’s convenient for them to have it, so we don’t wear masks.”
Public records show Maples was married, but he and his wife have been divorced since 2019. Maples said on his profile on his former company’s website that his son is the person who inspires him.
The viral video also caused issues for a youth and discipleship director at an Illinois church who shares his name. The other Dan Maples tweeted, “PSA: There is a video of a “Daniel Maples” in a Costco in FL circulating the internet. IT’S NOT ME. I keep getting retweets & messages from concerned people. I’ve actually never been in a Costco in my lifeFace with tears of joy #notthatdan”
5. Costco & Other Major Retailers Struggle to Enforce Mask-Wearing
Costco, according to Business Insider, was one of the first retailers to make mask-wearing mandatory for customers.
“Costco Dan,” as he has been called on Twitter, is hardly the first Costco customer to protest wearing a mask. A woman in an Oregon Costco refused to put on a mask and sat in the middle of the floor instead, telling the general manager, “I am an American. I have constitutional rights.”
Other retailers have also struggled to enforce mask-wearing, and those that have tried have often faced violence. At a Trader Joe’s, a customer refused to wear a mask, leading the employee who asked her to call the police, who never arrived, the New York Times reported.
A woman in Dallas tossed several grocery items out of her cart after she was asked to wear a mask in a Fiesta supermarket, WFAA-8 reported. A Target employee in California suffered a broken arm after helping remove two customers who did not want to wear masks.