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Grandma Slapped Over Facebook Friend Request: Police

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on December 22, 2014 10:36 AM

Is it worth slapping your grandma over a Facebook request? This isn't a new aggressive marketing campaign by Facebook (we hope), it's the subject of a recent Florida arrest.

Rachel Anne Hayes, 27, was arrested Thursday after allegedly hitting her 72-year-old grandmother multiple times in the face. According to Tampa's WFLA-TV, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office reports that the slapfest was over the senior's refusal to accept Hayes' friend request on Facebook.

What will Hayes have to answer for after this alleged granny-slapping incident?

Charged With Battery of an Elderly Person

Let's clear the air before we start in on Hayes' case: Elder abuse isn't funny. Seniors are often abused by their family members or caretakers, and they are often in too vulnerable a state to report their injuries or defend themselves. Because of this issue, various states have passed laws focusing on the myriad types of elder abuse, in some cases enhancing existing criminal charges with added penalties when the victim is a senior.

WFLA reports that Hayes was arrested on the felony charge of domestic battery of an elderly person, a third degree felony. Normally, slapping someone might only be a first degree misdemeanor in Florida, but because Hayes' grandmother was over 65 years of age, the charge Hayes faces was automatically upgraded to a felony.

Facebook Status, Custody Status

Hayes' arrest affidavit claims that "alcohol was a factor" in the alleged slapping, reports WFLA. We aren't sure whether it was alcohol abuse or Facebook-based rage that led to the senior's alleged slapping, but the nastiness of the allegations likely did affect Hayes' bail.

According to WFLA, Hayes had a prior probation violation for DUI and at least three prior DUI arrests. A judge may consider a person's prior criminal record and the seriousness of the alleged crime in setting bail, which in Hayes' case was set at $10,000. Pinellas County Sheriff's Office records show that Hayes made bond and, as of Monday, was out of custody.

As for Hayes' grandmother, she apparently denied her granddaughter's friend request because she felt Hayes' Facebook moniker was "inappropriate," reports the Tampa Bay Times. Soldier on, granny, soldier on.

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