Article Lead Image

News anchor drops charges against Twitter jokester he had arrested

If he thought this comment was scary, he hasn't been on the Internet long.


Miles Klee

Internet Culture

Posted on Dec 27, 2013   Updated on May 31, 2021, 10:51 pm CDT

Can any of us truly be surprised when a local TV news anchor tries to squeeze some drama out of a non-story that most of us wouldn’t so much as blink at? Especially when said non-story concerns a joke about local TV news anchors’ tendency to do just that? You wouldn’t think so, but then again you aren’t Martin Pierro, who was arrested over a single unfortunate tweet.

Preceding the legal ruckus was a foreboding tease from John Discepolo, who reads words into a camera for WPEC, a CBS affiliate in West Palm Beach, Fla.

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.

— John Discepolo (@JohnDiscepolo) October 23, 2013

To which Pierro, a South Floridian publisher of comics, replied in kind:

@JohnDiscepolo @CBS12 – Someone is hiding in your house waiting to kill you … find out where … tonight at 11

— Cosmic Times (@CosmicTimes) October 23, 2013

But Discepolo wasn’t amused, and a terse exchange followed.

@JohnDiscepolo @CBS12 – Oh come on that’s an old school broadcasters joke. I was just poking fun at your “teases” for the nightly news.

— Cosmic Times (@CosmicTimes) October 23, 2013

A little more than a month later, Discepolo brought charges against Pierro for “intimidation through a written threat to kill or injure,” according to Mediaite. Pierro was arrested, kept in jail overnight on Dec. 6, and “released the next day on $5,000 bail.” That didn’t go over well.

@CosmicTimes @JohnDiscepolo @CBS12 Did you guys just get my friend arrested over this crap?

— Juan Navarro (@FWACATA) December 6, 2013

@CosmicTimes Pretty pathetic of @JohnDiscepolo @CBS12 to be so dense they can’t recognize a joke. Should be liable for all legal fees.

— William Keane (@largebill68) December 13, 2013

@largebill68 @CosmicTimes @JohnDiscepolo @CBS12 he’s just trying to make some extra $$ obviously

— Baldwin Fanz (@Baldwins_Fanz) December 20, 2013

A “We Support Martin PierroFacebook page appeared, through which observers kept tabs on the case and offered whatever support they could. The organizers compiled some of Discepolo’s morbid professional tweets and claimed that, by his own logic, he was tweeting threats every day himself.

Thankfully, Pierro came forward just before Christmas to announce that the charges had been dropped. “I was nothing short of ecstatic,” he told WND. The holiday would not be a particularly happy one for the thin-skinned Discepolo, however, who remains a laughingstock with a limited grasp of the English language.

Actually, sir, “mute” is a button viewers push whenever you show up on their widescreen.    

H/T Mediaite | Photo by WSDOT/Flickr

Share this article
*First Published: Dec 27, 2013, 2:44 pm CST