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1. Escaped Prisoner Gets Caught at Mexican Resort:
A fugitive who escaped from the Payette County jail in Idaho was arrested by U.S. marshals after he posted his whereabouts on Instagram. They nabbed Nicholas Grove, who escaped by scaling a fence in 2014, in Tulum, Mexico, thanks in large part to the selfies he posted at a resort.
"Social media certainly played a role originally because this particular individual bragged about his escape on Facebook," Marshal Brian Underwood said. It's a good lesson from criminals and non-criminals alike: Keep your vacation photos to yourself.
2. Tourists Ruin Historic Landmark For Instagram Post:
Two American girls, aged 21 and 25, broke off from their tour group while on vacation in Rome, Italy and decided to use a coin to carve their initials into the walls of a structure that was built just slightly more than 2000 years before the dawn of social media.
Other tourists in the historic landmark reported the vandalism to guards and the pair were arrested for aggravated damage to a building of historical and artistic interest. The girls could see a fine of up to 20,000 Euros as a similar fine was imposed upon a Russian tourist who vandalized the structure about a year before.
No word on how many likes the selfie received.
3. Teen Sends Murder Scene Selfie Via Snapchat: Snapchatting a selfie with you and your victim is the perfect way to share a crime scene photo, right? Seven seconds of revelry and then the evidence disappears. Until the person on the receiving end snaps a screen shot with your user name on full display, of course.
Maxwell Marion Morton (no relation to Matron Mama) was charged with first-degree murder in Pennsylvania after he sent a Snapchat of himself and his victim (16-year-old Ryan Mangan) to several people, one of whom took a screenshot of the (perhaps) unintentional confession.
4. Dutch Girl Arrested for American Airlines Threat: "Hello my name's Ibrahim and I'm from Afghanistan. I'm part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I'm going to do something really big bye." was the tweet sent by 14-year-old Sarah, @QueenDemetriax_ on Twitter, in April 2014, supposedly as a joke. The folks over at @AmericanAir however were not laughing and quickly responded by saying, "@QueenDemetriax_ Sarah, we take these threats very seriously. Your IP address and details will be forwarded to security and the FBI."
What followed, before the account was suspended, was the complete implosion of the so-called joke and an insane freak out by the Dutch teen. After pleading that she's "just a girl" and vowing not to tell her parents about her momentary lapse in sanity, Sarah later turned herself into police where she was charged with posting a false or alarming announcement.
5. In The "You're Old Enough To Know Better" Category: Back in May 2010, then-26-year-old Paul Chambers tweeted about his intention to blow Robin Hood Airport "sky high" if his upcoming flight at the British airport was late. What he didn't account for was the chance that he'd miss said flight because he'd be arrested for that tweet two days before his scheduled departure.
Claiming the tweet was an "innocuous hyperbole," Chambers fought the legal charges, which included sending an offensive, indecent, obscene, or menacing message over a public telecommunications network, and lost, something that cost him 1,000 pounds and his job at a car distribution firm. His whining continued on Twitter with tweets talking about how this punishment does not fit the "crime" and complaining that this has jeopardized his career. Clearly, he learned nothing from the incident.
6. Man Repeatedly Tweets About Assassinating President Obama: There are many things that would really be common sense that would be really, really bad to tweet about. Assassinating the president lands squarely in that category. So it should be no surprise that in September 2012, when 21-year-old Donte Jamar Sims posted a series of tweets talking about killing President Barack Obama with "that Lee Harvey Oswald swagg" and an "Assault (sic) Rifle at Barack's Forehead," he was swiftly arrested.
While Sims reportedly was smiling when reading his tweets aloud to the Secret Service, who knocked on his door just a few days later, he later apologized for his stupidity. That apology came up just a wee bit short though as he was later sentenced to six months in prison for knowingly and willfully making a threat to take the life of the president.
7. Teen Jailed for Kindergarten Shooting "Sarcasm": Oh, those gamers, they get so heated when they battle across the Internet, so much so that in February 2013, when 18-year-old Justin Carter was insulted by a League of Legends gamer, he posted some fighting words back of his own.
"I think Ima shoot up a kindergarten / And watch the blood of the innocent rain down / And eat the beating heart of one of them" was what Carter posted, and just as anyone with half a brain would expect, he was soon arrested. Carter claimed that his messages were "sarcastic," even using the fact that he also typed "lol" and "jk" as his defense; authorities didn't agree.
8. Sick Jokes About Missing Kids Land Teen in Prison: Taking sick jokes to a whole new and very much criminal level, meet Matthew Woods. This British teen had the brilliance to post jokes on Facebook stating "I woke up this morning in the back of a transit van with two beautiful little girls, I found April in a hopeless place." and "Who in their right mind would abduct a ginger kid?"
Now out of context, these might not seem something that would land him behind bars, but considering there were two little girls missing at the time, a highly covered story by the news media, no one was laughing at his comments. Woods, who claimed a defense of intoxication, spent three months in the pokey on charges of sending by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive.
9. Teen Doesn't "Get Away With It Like Zimmerman": Lots of people were upset when George Zimmerman was found not guilty of the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in July 2013. Just one however, went to Twitter to threaten mass murder because of it. 15-year-old "Mark" was that one.
The teen posted, "If Zimmmerman free imma shoot everybody in Zion causing a mass homicide, and ill get away wit it just like Zimmerman," just before the verdict was announced. Though it was quickly deleted, police got wind of the threat and pulled "Mark" into the station for questioning. The good news is that the cops determined that he was no threat and had no means of carrying out an act of that kind and let him off with a Class 4 felony charge, disorderly conduct.
10. Twitter Time-Bomb Mention Pulls Teen from Pink Concert: When you're excited about attending a concert and want to express that on social media, it might be wise to step back and think before you tweet. An Aussie teen learned that lesson the hard way in July 2013, when he posted on Twitter this lapse of judgement, "@Pink I'm ready with my Bomb. Time to blow up #RodLaverArena. Bitch."
Though the kid was just referencing Pink's song "Timebomb," security at the concert rightfully treated the message like an actual threat and nabbed him when he arrived at the Melbourne arena. The kid was arrested, and his father had to angrily drive three hours to help sort things out. Public nuisance charges were filed and the kid missed out on the concert that got him so excited in the first place. Not a good night for anyone involved!
11. Olympic Twitter Rant Goes a Step Too Far: Athletes are easy targets for hate mail when they lose, but in the case of British diver Tom Daley, the messages he received after failing to medal at the 2012 Olympics took that hate to a scary new level. Twitter user @Rileyy_69 didn't just go on a rant about how Daley "let us all down" and how he would "rather support a tramp," this fan, or former fan, threatened to shoot the Brit too.
"I hold a gun license for shooting birds and I'm gonna shoot yours as well," was the tweet that earned @Rileyy_69 a visit from Dorset police following a tip from Olympic officials, who were closely monitoring Twitter for safety reasons. Charges for malicious communications soon followed. No word on the kid's new favorite athlete following this incident
12. A DUI Is No Laughing Matter: Similar to the many who were busted for bragging about their crimes on social media, a Kentucky teen learned that when one hits a car full of teenagers whilst driving under the influence, posting about it with a LOL expression isn't very wise.
18-year-old Paula Asher did that in September 2012, and the message attracted the eyes of the victims' parents. The parents went to the Woodford County judge, who ordered Asher to remove the post. She declined and was charged with contempt of court. Two days in the clink, in addition to her DUI sentence, were added on.
13. Horrible Rap Lyrics Lead To Arrest: Few these days are surprised when song lyrics mention unsavory or straight up criminal acts. The distinction, however, between a threat and just making music is that when an unknown aspiring rapper posts comments talking about crimes, it's far from completely clear that he's just rapping.
Terroristic Rap Lyrics Bomb for Massachusetts Teen...Meet Cameron D'Ambrosio. This 18-year-old from Methuen, Massachusetts, posted "f*** a boston bombing [sic] wait til u see the s*** I do, I'ma be famous for rapping, and beat every murder charge that comes across me." on Facebook in May 2013. The completely not famous non-rapper's threats were forwarded to local law enforcement and he was swiftly arrested. The charges, of threats to make a bomb or hijack a vehicle, were eventualy dropped, but not before D'Ambrosio spent some time behind bars for his flow.
14. Ex-Husband's Elaborate Facebook Hoax Backfires: This is one of the stranger stories.In 2011, David Voelkert plotted to turn the tables on his ex-wife by playing along with her plot to seduce him on Facebook and get him to talk about harming her. Angela Voelkert made a fake profile of a local teen, friended David, and proceeded to listen as David talked about how he wanted to kill her.
Normally, this would be a criminal situation, and it was for a while, but David somehow knew that this was a complete ruse and planned ahead. He produced a notarized affidavit explaining that he knew this teen was really his ex-wife in disguise and played along only to prove that Angela was trying to tamper with his life. His plan worked but not before he spent four days in custody while this wild web was untangled
15. Woman Broadcasts Her Drunk Drive Home on Periscope: A Florida woman was arrested after she broadcast her intoxicated drive home on the social media app Periscope. Whitney Beall had had a few too many when she got behind the wheel of her car and declared to the few dozen people watching her on the app "“I’m driving home drunk, let’s see if I get a DUI."
She did, as she was reported by several watchers to 911, and police found her, drunk and driving with a flat tire, running into a curb. She didn't get jail time, but did get a year of probation, work released, community service, and had her license suspended for six months