One internet user’s ramblings landed him in jail over the weekend when local police were notified about a threat of violence.
The suspect, Derek Eitel, reportedly posted a strange status to a Facebook group chat. The message appeared as, “Five likes and I’ll go shoot up Disney and hang myself.” The disturbing message went out to over 850 members of the group. Two brave individuals were alarmed enough to report the post and contact local police.
Investigators from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office located and detained the suspect. They took the strange message as a direct threat on the Disney World theme parks. After being confronted by authorities, Eitel confessed to making the online post when he was bored at work. It remains unclear whether the suspect intended his message to be taken literally or whether he was attempting to make a joke.
Officers charged the suspect with threats to kill and do bodily harm. He is currently being detained at the Brevard County Jail on a $100,000 bond. Investigators reached out to the suspect’s family. Police reported that Eitel currently resides with his parents. His parents defended their son, but they did admit to owning firearms in the home. They argued that their weapons are all safely locked up and secured. Their son did not have access to any weapons before or after the online threats were made.
The quick response and investigation conducted by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Department is being praised by police departments across the nation. Similar social media threats often go unnoticed, but the department’s swift actions will hopefully deter further online behavior in the future.