An eastern Missouri man was charged with making a terrorist threat after he allegedly coughed toward customers and wrote COVID on a cooler at a Dollar Tree store.

CUBA — An eastern Missouri man was charged with making a terrorist threat after he allegedly coughed toward customers and wrote COVID on a cooler at a Dollar Tree store.

John Swaller, 33, of Cuba, was charged Tuesday and was being held on $25,000 bail in the Crawford County jail. 

An employee of a the store in Cuba called police because the man was intentionally coughing toward customers and had breathed on a cooler before writing COVID on the inside of the cooler, police said. 

The store was closed and sanitized. Cuba is about 80 miles (128.75 kilometers) southwest of St. Louis along Interstate 44.

Swaller's father told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his son doesn't have COVID-19.

Cuba police Chief Doug Shelton said investigators don't know if Swaller has the coronavirus, but officers used protective gear while taking him to jail.

Online court records do not name an attorney for Swaller.