Facebook Post Leads to Arrest for Making Terroristic Threats
A post to his public Facebook profile lead to the arrest of the 17 year old Osiris Aristy for the felony charge of Making Terroristic Threats, as well as a number of misdemeanor weapons and drug charges. The Judge at Mr. Aristy’s arraignment, Hon. Martin Murphy, set bail of $150,000 bond or $100,000 cash, and as of this date, according the New York City Department of Correction inmate locator, Mr. Aristy is being held at the Robert N. Davoren Center on Ricker’s Island.
Mr. Aristy is accused of making Terroristic Threats against the police department by posting an emoticon of a police officer with three gun emoticons pointing at the police officer emoticon followed by the language “FREE EMONEY Erick Santiago”
The New York State Penal Law defines Making a Terroristic Threat as, “A person is guilty of making a terroristic threat when with intent to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a unit of government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of a unit of government by murder, assassination or kidnapping, he or she threatens to commit or cause to be committed a specified offense and thereby causes a reasonable expectation or fear of the imminent commission of such offense.”
Presumably, the District Attorney is claiming that Mr. Aristy’s childish and ridiculous Facebook post was intended to “affect the conduct of a unit of government by murder, assassination or kidnapping” by threatening the murder or assassination of police officers unless “EMONEY” presumably Erick Santiago, is released.
While Mr. Aristy is certainly not the brightest bulb, as indicated by the numerous post on his public Facebook profile including pictures of him possessing and using what appears to be marihuana and other illicit substances, its is hard to imagine that Mr. Aristy ever imagined that any representative of law enforcement, let alone the District Attorney’s Cyber Crimes Unit would be reading his Facebook profile, or that this post would cause the release of the inglorious EMONEY.
This isn’t Mr. Aristy’s first brush with the law, he has been out on bail for a May 2013 Robbery case where he plead Guilty to Robbery in the First Degree, and has been out pending sentence since October of 2013. This indicates that he was likely in a program that is an alternative to incarceration that typically leads to a non-jail outcome, and often with youthful offender treatment. Its is likely that it is his prior violent criminal history and likelihood of incarceration on the older robbery case taken together with the current climate following the tragic and disturbing murders of Police Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, which lead to the high bail in this matter.
What is unclear is how did the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office or the New York City Police Department learned about the offending Facebook post or if they were alerted to it. This goes to show that if you post something on Facebook, it can come back to bite you. Mr. Aristy is facing up to 7 years in prison if convicted of the top count, a class D Felony.