A St. Louis man has been arrested, after allegedly making a World Series-related bomb threat on Twitter. Robert Metzinger was charged on Saturday for making a terrorist threat, after taking to the social media site and implying that he would use an explosive device around Busch Stadium during the World Series, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
His Twitter account has been deleted since then, but one tweet stated: "Putting my loft up for a ridiculous 'Boston-only' rate for the #WorldSeries. Pressure cooker sold separately."
What does Metzinger's terrorist threat charge mean?
Making a Terrorist Threat
All states have criminal laws regarding threats -- these usually entail any spoken or written words that are intended to intimidate or menace others. Terrorist threats are a specific type of threat, distinguished by the fact that they typically involve some threat of great bodily injury or death.
Terrorist threat definitions vary by state. Missouri law generally defines a terrorist threat as:
- one intended to endanger someone's life; or
- making a false report about a dangerous condition to human life; or
- knowingly causing a false belief about such a condition; and
- with the purpose of frightening ten or more people or causing the evacuation of closure of any building.
Here it is alleged that Metzinger tweeted with the implication that a situation similar to the Boston bombing would occur if the Red Sox won, a threat which certainly could have frightened more than 10 people on Twitter.
No Action, But Still a Crime
While terrorist threats are usually classified as a felony in Missouri, a lesser version of that exists in the form of a misdemeanor charge when one makes a terrorist threat with criminal negligence with regard to the risk of causing a possible evacuation or closure of any building.
Criminal negligence is typically defined as the failure to use reasonable care in avoiding consequences that threaten the safety of the public. This means that despite the tweets not progressing into any action, they still showed that Metzinger acted negligently by disregarding the risk of causing an evacuation from posting them.
Court records state that Metzinger was released on a $10,000 bond, and Reuters reports that a judge has also ordered him to undergo a mental evaluation. He is slated to appear in court again later in November.
This is not the first time someone has been arrested for making a threat on Twitter. So, let this be a lesson to all die-hard sports fans. Let's not take our allegiances too seriously, now.
- St. Louis man arrested, accused of Boston threats (USA Today)
- Kyle Williams Death Threats Not OK: Tweets Can Get You Arrested (FindLaw's Tarnished Twenty)
- Twitter Threats Can Lead to Restraining Orders (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's Twitter Death Threats (FindLaw's Blotter)