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.