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Threat or joke? Man arrested over tweet to FL news anchor

Threat or joke? Man arrested over tweet to FL news anchor

A tweet to a local TV news anchor in Florida from a man who says it was intended as a joke has landed that man in hot water with the law.

From the Palm Beach Post:

A tweet to a local television news anchor landed a Lake Worth man in the Palm Beach County Jail, records show.

Martin Thomas Pierro, 41, was arrested on Friday and is facing a charge of intimidation through a written threat to kill or injure in connection with a Twitter message he sent to WPEC-Channel 12 news anchor John Discepolo in October.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Discepolo was corresponding with Pierro on Oct. 23 when he received the threatening message.

The arrest could also be confirmed through the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office booking blotter.

According to the Palm Beach Post, the trouble started when Discepolo posted the following tweet teasing an upcoming news segment.

Pierro, whose Twitter handle is @CosmicTimes, replied with a comment that he said was meant to mock the anchor’s news teases, not to intimidate him. (Here’s another example or two of the anchor’s style of news teases).

Probably not the most advisable choice of words if you’re joking around on Twitter, but Pierro maintains it was a joke.  The Palm Beach Post apparently spoke with him, and he again said that his tweet was not intended as a threat.

Pierro said in a phone interview with The Palm Beach Post that his tweet was meant to mock, not menace Discepolo and wasn’t supposed to be taken seriously.

“It was just a joke. Really. Now I’m facing criminal charges,” Pierro said.

The CBS12 news station eventually offered a comment, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel.

“As a large media property, we are out in front of the public every day,” said CBS12 General Manager Mike Pumo. “We take any threat against one of our employees or the station very seriously.”

h/t TV Spy


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BannedbytheGuardian | December 12, 2013 at 4:40 pm

First they tell you ‘not cool’ .

Then they phone Orlando Vice.

Which tweet is the parody? You have to watch the broadcast to find out what’s in it. That’s leading by example. Yeah, it’s not funny. However, like Obamacare, an immediate threat is not implied.

Clearly not a threat; the “you” here is “universal” (the referent is not the person to whom the tweet was written).

This is why English teachers tell students not to use second person. 😉

The better revenge is to never watch local tv news and even get rid of your television. Your life will better.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to raven. | December 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Not watch local TV news! How else am I going to find news I read on the internet eight hours earlier??

To quote someone ripped off by Hollywood, “stupid is as stupid does” I’m just not sure who in this is the most stupid.

I’m more shocked that a “newsman” doesn’t know how to spell devour, nor know that it doesn’t require a preposition before the object.

Having lived in Central and Southern Floriduh, and owning property in the Panhandle for a hell of a lot of years,I once thought that dividing Floriduh from just a tad West of Tallahassee, to Jacksonville AND excluding Gator country (Gainesville)would be the ideal Floriduh.

West Florida and the rest of the place, left to rot AND indeed it has. J’ville has one stellar citizen to claim. Tim Tebow (see Gainesville). OH and one ugly, dare I say lady(?) angela whorrey or some such thing.

Gosh, didja’ hear/see, wear the Frankenstein stand in (calls himself grayson or some such shit), got taken to the cleaner for about $18 million.

    sumabitch! W-H-E-R-E..

    MarlaHughes in reply to JP. | December 13, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Having been BORN in Florida (such a cute nickname you have for my home state that I love), I’d go with knocking off Miami, but since I live near Gainesville in a solidly conservative little black majority town, object to any attempts to compare us, or any other of the small towns surrounding it, to Gainesville’s liberal leanings.

Another sign of the criminalization of everything. Now Pierro gets to incur tens of thousands in legal fees to have the charges dismissed.

He followed up indicating it was not a threat, but when the call was made the officers felt like they had to verify that. Meh.

I saw it as a joke immediately, along the lines of the “It’s coming from inside the house!” meme.

Does no one appreciate overused lines from lame remakes of B-grade movies anymore?

I never would have seen that tweet as a threat. I immediately thought it was a humorous way of poking fun at the newsman. Most of them, including the women, have a pretty inflated view of their value to the world.

Hey. Channel whatever. You read words that other people have typed into a telepromptr. You are not re-creating Edward R. Murrow.

“We take any threat against one of our employees or the station very seriously.”

I wish Channel 12 and the PB Post would take the news seriously rather than as a propaganda effort. I neither read the Post nor watch the channel 12 news.

Let’s not forget the classic:
“I’m not wearing any pants. Film at 11.”

— CBS12 General Manager Mike Pumo. “We take any threat against one of our employees or the station very seriously.” —

You are not a serious person Mike Pumo if you thought that was a threat. Your own broadcasters tweet can be read as a threat in the same way of reading. I don’t want you and yours “moving in to ‘keep me safe'”

But that’s not a serious way of reading it, is it?