FBI arrests man who threatened gay rights activist on Twitter

"Be careful at the [gay rights] march," tweeted Joseph Morales Serrano. "It could end like Boston."

 

Curt Hopkins

Crime

Published May 23, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 3:11 pm CDT

Facebook has become rather notorious as a destination for criminal idiots. But apparently, it’s not the only social media site the cops visit, as Joseph Joel Morales-Serrano has found out. 

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Morales, apparently incensed by a gay pride march on his home island, the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, on May 6 and 7 posted a series of profane and violent messages on his Twitter account, @leonidapr, directed at gay Puerto Rican human rights activist, Pedro Julio Serrano. 

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The bio line of Morales’ Twitter account reads “La Violencia Resuerve Problema” (sic), or “violence solves problems.” 

One of the messages, posted at 8:30 in the evening on May 6, read “@PedroJulio cuidado en la marcha que puede terminar como boston pendejo.” (“Be careful on the march because it can end up like Boston, dumbass.”) 

@pedrojulio cuidado en la marcha que puede terminar como boston pendejo

— Carlitos Craft(@LeonidaPR) May 7, 2013

According to a statement by Special Agent Moises Quiñones, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Puerto Rico, Serrano was arrested at his home in San Juan on May 17 on a charge of cyberbullying.

Serrano told the AP he did not know Morales personally but thinks he is the source of other threats he has received. He had asked police in both Puerto Rico and New York to investigate those threats, but followed up by contacting the FBI once the tweet was posted that seemed to threaten a Boston Marathon-type bombing. 

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Why the charge was “cyberbullying” instead of something more serious, up to and including terrorism charges, is uncertain. However Quiñones wrote, “If convicted, the defendant faces up to a maximum of five years’ imprisonment for cyberbullying after transmitting in interstate or foreign commerce a communication containing a threat to injure the person of another.”

H/T Queerty | Photo via codispodi/Flickr

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*First Published: May 23, 2013, 8:30 am CDT