A Minnesota man who recently filmed himself taking COVID-19 vaccine vials from medical workers — going viral on social media as a result — is now facing legal consequences.
Thomas Edward Humphrey, a 32-year-old St. Paul resident, has been charged with misdemeanor theft and disorderly conduct in relation to the videos he posted on Facebook earlier this month.
The videos show the suspect feigning interest in receiving a vaccination at two locations: a vaccination site operated by Allina Health in Oakdale, and a CVS in St. Paul.
In both videos, once a vaccine vial is handed to the man, he removes his mask, begins calmly walking away despite pleas from workers, and discusses his intent to have the contents — which he says contain "deadly poison" — tested by a lab.
On the recordings, the suspect also openly affiliates himself with a loosely organized anti-government conspiracy group of "investigators."
In one recording, he is given a vial of the vaccine and asks, removes his face mask and loudly announces to the rest of the people in the area: "Hey guys. Do not take this vaccine. This is going to kill you, I promise. This is poisonous."
The video posts, which have since been removed or hidden, spread quickly across the web despite the repeated false claims in them.
You can read more about the thefts by clicking right here.
Oakdale police tell the Pioneer Press that Humphrey's citation has been mailed to him.
Per the Minnesota Reformer, Humphrey is a self-identified "sovereign citizen" who says he "lost his business and home last year due to pandemic restrictions" and "now lives in a van with his dog."
More than 155 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as of May 14, 2021. While some relatively minor, short-lived side effects are commonplace, the vaccine itself has proven to be both safe and effective.