Teen charged with disorderly conduct for making threats on Twitter
By Frank Abderholden firstname.lastname@example.org July 12, 2013 5:03PM
Updated: August 14, 2013 6:16AM
Twitter has put a Zion teen between a rock and a hard place after he said he was going to shoot everyone in Zion if George Zimmerman was set free.
Zimmerman is on trial for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin after the Neighborhood Watch captain approached the young Martin, who was in the neighborhood visiting his father.
“If Zimmmerman free imma shoot everybody in Zion causing a mass homicide, and ill get away wit it just like Zimmerman,” read his tweet from the account @Mark12394995, which he then took down, but that started a conversation and reportedly the group Anonymous reported the tweet to police.
George Zimmerman is on trial for the shooting death of Travon Martin after the Neighborhood Watch captain approached the young Martin, who was in the neighborhood visiting his father.
Zion Police Department Deputy Chief Steve Dumyahn said the 15-year-old Zion-Benton Township High School sophomore was brought to the police station and his parents were furious.
Dispatch started receiving calls, including one from Kansas, the FBI, and Fox News who told Zion they heard it from a caller in Washington.
“There is no credibility to the threat. He has no weapons and no access to weapons,” he said.
“You can’t make statements like that because people will take it serious, and you have to. Law enforcement has to take it seriously,” said Dumyahn.
The teen has been charged with disorderly conduct, a Class 4 felony.
According to the Deseret News in Salt Lake City, Utah, at least three teenagers have landed themselves in jail because of Facebook and other online comments that have been labeled as terroristic threats.
Cameron D’Ambrosio, a high school student from the Boston area faces up to 20 years in jail after “disturbing verbiage” was reported on his Facebook page. He posted a threat in the form of rap where he mentioned the White House, the Boston Marathon bombing. In another incident in October of 2012, then-19-year-old Josh Pillault of Illinois was arrested for threatening to destroy a high school, and specifically referred to Columbine High School, while playing an online fantasy game. Pillault faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. While playing an online video game, another teen, then-18-year-old Justin Carter of Texas, engaged in an argument with another online player, who told Carter he was crazy. Carter sarcastically responded by saying saying he was crazy and that he was going to shoot kindergarten children followed by “lol” and “jk.” Carter’s comment was reported to authorities, who took him into custody on charges of terrorist threats with a $500,000 bond.
One person on Twitter told Mark12394995, the Zion teen, that he was going to call the FBI.
“I WAS JOKING SEE U JUST SAID I SHOULDNT JOKE SO THERE WAS NOO NEED FOR U TO REPORT ME,” reads a tweet in response from another person who said, “Threatening mass homicide on a social networking site is not something you do. Joking or not.”
Another exchange read “You should NEVER EVER threaten to shoot up a school. It doesn’t matter if you are joking or not.” to which the Zion teen replied several times: “no cuz i have no time to do that and i know better not to do illegal stuff like that,“ “well i didnt know ppl would report me,” “why your lame for that i never do such a thing to my school,” “why you taking that shit serious?” “i never theaten to shoot up a school?”
Another Twitterer posted a picture saying it was outside the Zion teen’s house and it showed a SWAT team unloading out of a van that was obviously just copied off a news website. Another posted “You still threatened it. Which is conspiracy to do that crime. That’s not something you do.” to which the Zion teen replied, “well i didnt know ppl would report me” Another person chimed in with “Mark, your tweet was a serious terror threat. The punishment that awaits you will be a serious lesson.”