For years, the mouth-breathers of the world have believed that they can use social media to make whatever threats they’d like to make, without repercussion. For one such mouth breather, the repercussions are coming.
David Purdum of ESPN.com reports that a 23-year-old gambler known as Parlay Patz has been charged with making threats against members of the New England Patriots and other athletes, including members of Major League Baseball teams and college basketball and football players. Parlay Patz, formally known as Benjamin Tucker Patz has been charged with transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce. He faces up to five years in prison.
Last year, Patz allegedly posted a screenshot of a $10,000 bet on the Rams in Super Bowl LIII. That same day, multiple Patriots players received direct message on Instagram threatening the “rape” and “murder” of family members.
The same pattern allegedly occurred with other athletes. Last July, for example, Patz alleged bet on the Cleveland Indians in their game against the Kansas City Royals. Roughly 45 minutes before the game was due to being, a Royals player received a direct message on Instagram that said, “I will cut open the throat of your baby,” and “You will die.”
“His substantial and persistent online sports wagering suggests that Patz may have threatened athletes who played in games on which he had unsuccessfully wagered and lost money, or that he may have tried to influence the outcome of upcoming sports events on which he had wagered,” FBI special agent Daniel Nowak said in an affidavit.
It’s about time that people who make threats on social media face legal consequences. Perhaps this will get them to stop. If they don’t, more should face criminal charges. Indeed, making those threats on social media is no different than making them in any other setting.