It’s safe to say that most mothers will do just about anything to defend their children and protect them from harm. Unfortunately, one mother’s Facebook rant in defense of her bullied son landed her in jail.
Teri Pallat, 39, was arrested on Monday and charged with making a terroristic threat, as well as first-degree harassment, after a Facebook post in which she defended the possibility of her bullied son “shooting up the school” made its way to school officials, and ultimately the police.
The now-deleted post read: “And they asked why do people shoot up schools, well this is exactly why and when our son does it cause I know he will have nobody to blame but the administration and I promise everyone he will only get the ones that caused this. He is an excellent marks men.”
Teri Pallat and her wife Meredith say that their 15-year-old son suffers from epilepsy and has been repeatedly bullied at school, but school officials have taken no action to stop it. Teri seemed to be fed up with the school’s inability to protect her son, so she took to social media to vent her frustrations in an obviously destructive way.
Pallat was released on a $10,000 bond and says that the reaction to her posting is completely irrational.
“I can’t believe this,” said Pallat. “I am just an everyday person. Facebook is what this is all about.”
If Pallat is found guilty of the charges against her, she could face up to two years in prison for harassment and up to five years in prison for making a terroristic threat.
Following the incident, Pallat’s 15-year-old son was taken for psychiatric evaluation to ensure that there wasn’t anything deeper going on. Authorities say that regardless of whether or not the boy was actually planning to bring a gun to school for revenge, Pallat’s remarks on Facebook were enough to cause genuine alarm. Reports say that Pallat’s son has been expelled from school following the incident.
A Florida man was arrested last week after a “joke” tweet he sent to a local news anchor was actually taken seriously.
Martin Pierro, 41, responded to WPEC anchorman John Discepolo after the reporter tweeted, “cbs 12 wants to keep you and your money safe! So what does moving have to do with it? The new scam we uncovered … next at 5.”
Pierro’s response? “Someone is hiding in your house waiting to kill you … find out where … tonight at 11.”
Apparently, that response didn’t sit well with Discepolo. The news anchor immediately tweeted back, “Not something to joke about … not cool.”
Pierro, a publisher and comic book writer at Cosmic Times, wanted to make sure that Discepolo knew that his original response was a joke, so he tweeted back, “Oh come on that’s an old school broadcasters joke. I was just poking fun at your ‘teases’ for the nightly news.”
It seems that Discepolo didn’t find any of this funny, and now he’s pressing charges against Pierro for threatening to kill him. Pierro maintains that he was just joking around, but Discepolo says he was concerned for his and his family’s safety.
Pierro was released on $5,000 bail the morning after his arrest and said that the impending legal battle he faces is, “one I never thought I would have to deal with in a million years and one that no doubt will cost me thousands upon thousands of dollars.” He took to Facebook following his release in order to thank his family and friends for sticking by him and express his dismay over the situation.
“I wish I could comment on it and explain how I am being railroaded here – but seeing as I have been informed that ALL of my social media is being monitored … I feel it would be best to save those conversations for another day,” wrote an obviously shaken Pierro. “I won’t be able to comment on any of your supportive posts going forward, but wanted you to know that the posts and messages have been received and are very helpful to me and my family as we deal with this dark chapter. For me it will be business as usual, I will continue to make my silly little facebook and twitter posts as I continue to work on strengthening Cosmic Times in preparation for 2014. But let me say this – be careful what you say openly … the world has changed drastically in the last few years and what was touted as progress has only made things worse and has weakened the very foundation this great country was built upon.”
Since the story has made its way around the Internet, people have had mixed reactions. Many stand behind Pierro and say that Discepolo overreacted, but others say that Pierro made a bad decision in tweeting what he did. It doesn’t appear that Discepolo has made any remarks about the matter just yet.
The Secret Service began an investigation Tuesday after Christian American Patriots Militia leader Everest Wilhelmsen asserted his constitutional right to kill President Barack Obama.
“We now have authority to shoot Obama,” Wilhelmsem posted on the group’s Facebook page. “I would be very surprised, if Obama does not leave Washington DC today ... never to return, if he is not dead within the month.”
Wilhelmsem added that Obama is waging war on the United States and aiding foreign enemies, reducing the country to Despotism and qualifying himself as a dictator.
Wilhelmsem then argued that the 2nd Amendment allows him to kill the president, which allows anyone to confront an enemy of the United States.
In his closed Facebook group and on his Twitter, Wilhelmsem has posted a number of Biblical verses justifying his words. In the past, he has posted a variety of other anti-Obama and anti-Muslim comments. In one Tweet, he compared Obama to Hitler and warned of genocide against Christians and conservatives.
University of Connecticut student Joshua Klimas also threatened to kill the president recently, justifying his threat with the same amendment.
“There will not be any more warnings,” Klimas wrote, “only bullets flying in your direction from drones I built for the sole purpose of removing you from the office you stole from this country.”
After reports surfaced last week that Pope Francis was a potential target for an Italian mafia group, the Vatican now seems to be downplaying the risk that the Pope faces. Rev. Federico Lombardi, spokesman for the Vatican, said in a statement on Friday that it wasn’t as big a risk as it was made out to be, and that the Vatican was “extremely calm” about it.
“There is absolutely no reason for concern, no need to feed alarmism,” said Lombardi to reporters.
The supposed alarmism started last week when anti-mob prosecutor Nicolas Gratteri commented on the risk of violence against the Pope.
“Those who have up until now profited from the power and wealth deriving from the Church are now nervous, agitated,” claimed Gratteri. “The Pope is dismantling centres of economic power in the Vatican. I don't know if organised crime is in a position to do something, but certainly they are thinking about it. It could be dangerous. If the godfathers can trip him up, they would not hesitate to do so.”
“For many years, the Mafia has laundered money and made investments with the complicity of the church,” continued Gratteri. “But now the pope is dismantling the poles of economic power in the Vatican, and that is dangerous.”
In the past, the Catholic Church has turned a blind eye to the crimes committed by the mafia, but since Pope Francis has become leader of the church, he has been pretty outspoken against organized crime.
“I think of all the pain of men, women and even children who are exploited by many mafias,” said Pope Francis back in May. “They are forced to do work that makes them slaves, like prostitution. Behind all this slavery there are mafias.”
Still, the Vatican is trying to temper all the hype surrounding Gratteri’s claims that the Pope is at high risk for mob retaliation, maintaining that it isn’t as serious as it’s being made out to be.
11Best Friend of Gym Mat Death Victim Kendrick Johnson Sent Threatening Messages Hours After Police Discovered the Body
New reports show that just after the body of teenager Kendrick Johnson was found in a rolled up gym mat, his best friend reportedly received a Facebook message threatening that he too would receive the same fate.
16-year-old Solomon Arrington says that just after learning about the gruesome death of his best friend, he received a message via Facebook saying that he, too, could, “end up in a body bag.”
“I just didn’t want to think about it, really,” said Arrington.
“It was a message that said my son ‘would end up in a body bag,’ and I thought this is nothing to play with,” said Arrington’s mother Keisha Moore. “This is not a joke.”
Moore says that she immediately reported the threats to the police, but they determined that it was nothing serious.
"The detective told me I didn’t have to worry about that person because they knew where he was,” said Moore. “They said they couldn’t do nothing because we live in a different county.”
Lieutenant Stryde Jones of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office maintains that they investigated the report thoroughly and determined that it wasn’t a credible threat.
“They were not threats,” said Lt. Jones. “They were comments made on Facebook, I believe, and we followed up and interviewed those that allegedly made them.”
Moore also says that police came to their home to question her and Arrington while they were looking for Johnson, who had been reported missing at the time, right before they discovered his body.
As Opposing Views recently reported, 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson was found dead in a rolled up gym mat at his Valdosta, Georgia high school. Police initially ruled it an accident, saying that he died from “positional asphyxiation,” but upon further investigation by a private pathologist following the initial autopsy done by Georgia police, it was found that blunt force trauma actually killed the boy. This death, the pathologist concluded, was no accident.
“They say that Kendrick Johnson’s death was an accident and that’s completely preposterous,” said the family’s attorney Benjamin Crump. “We’re calling on the Lowndes County Sherriff’s office to release the surveillance video from that day,” Crump said. “As long as they insist on calling this an accidental death, we’ll never know what really happened. We believe he was murdered. This is a real life murder mystery.”
11Christopher Castillo Sentenced to 15 Months in Prison After Threatening To Kill President Obama on Facebook
During the last Presidential election, there were certainly a lot of strong opinions on who should be elected. Some people took to social media to express how they felt about the candidates, but for one man, his Facebook post did more than start a debate. It actually landed him in jail.
Christopher Castillo of Melbourne, Florida took to Facebook in November to make a promise that if President Obama were reelected, he would hunt him down, kill him, and “watch the life disappear from his eyes.”
Not long after the post, Secret Service agents arrived at Castillo’s home. Castillo maintained that he was joking around, but earlier this year, a jury determined they didn’t buy it. Castillo has now been sentenced to 15 months in prison for the threat.
“A lot of people say things on Facebook that they don’t mean, and I understand the Secret Service has to do what they have to do, it’s their job,” said Frank Castillo, Christopher’s father. “I would imagine they would find some people out there that really are loose cannons. Christopher is not one of them."
During the trial, Castillo’s attorney argued that he was not serious in his threat, but as history has shown, threats against presidents are not taken lightly.
“Mr. Castillo is not an assassin,” said James Smith, the attorney.
Castillo and his defense team argued that he was, in fact, the victim of Internet trolling, but clearly the judge and jury did not buy it. After his 15 months in prison is up, it’s safe to say that Castillo will probably think twice before posting anything on Facebook from now on.
Panicked groom Neil McArdle made a fake bomb call to his own wedding venue after he realized that he had forgotten to book it in the first place.
McArdle and his fiancée had planned to marry at the historic St. George’s Hall in Liverpool.
The 36-year-old called the receptionist at St. George’s on the day he was meant to be married, saying that a bomb would go off 45 minutes after his call. After the false report McArdle immediately hung up.
Receptionist Marie Harnick said he hung up too quickly to ask questions. She contacted her supervisor, who told her to evacuate the building.
McArdle’s fiancée Amy Williams arrived at St. George’s to get ready for the ceremony, only to find that the entire building had been evacuated and was being investigated by bomb disposal units.
“The building was immediately evacuated of all staff and visitors and a search lasting over an hour was conducted,” a Merseyside police spokesperson said.
McArdle later claimed that he tried to call St. George’s again to clear up the accusation, though no one answered the phone.
On Thursday, McArdle pleaded guilty to a single count of communicating false information with intent. He will be sentenced later this month.
According to the Liverpool Echo, the couple is not married but still in a relationship.