Twitter: British Tourists Arrested After Making Twitter JokesBy: Zach Walton - January 30, 2012
It’s time for another entry in “Be careful what you say on social media.”
This week’s entry comes from the U.K. where two British tourists were arrested for jokingly tweeting that they were going to “destroy America” and “dig up Marilyn Monroe” according to the Daily Mail.
Leigh Van Bryan and Emily Bunting were handcuffed and kept under armed guard for 12 hours after being arrested in Los Angeles upon their landing.
The Department of Homeland Security flagged Van Bryan as a potential threat after tweeting about his upcoming trip to Hollywood: “Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America.”
Despite the obvious knowledge that the term “destroy” is British slang for “party,” the officers weren’t buying their explanation for the offending tweet.
Absurdly enough, Van Bryan was also questioned about a previous tweet that said he was going to dig up Marilyn Monroe. The tweet was apparently quoting Family Guy.
It’s reported that the officers looked through Bryan’s suitcase looking for spades and shovels convinced that Bunting was his “look out” while he raided the dead star’s tomb.
They were held for 12 hours overnight in separate cells. It’s reported that Mexican drug criminals kept them company throughout the evening.
The next morning, the friends were driven to the airport and put on a plane home via Paris.
Bunting was quoted as saying that they were not allowed in the country because of Bryan’s tweet. She apparently burst out laughing when she was accused of being the “look out” while Bryan raided Monroe’s tomb.
The most humorous part of all of this is Leigh’s charge sheet where federal officials said that Bryan had posted his intention to commit crimes on his “Tweeter Web site account.” The federal government arrests somebody for using social media and can’t even get the name right.
The friends were told that they must apply for visas from the U.S. embassy in London before traveling to the U.S. again.
It’s not surprising that Bryan’s twitter account is now locked down to only confirmed followers.
Take this a lesson, friends. The feds don’t appreciate you taking to your “Tweeter” to announce the upcoming party you are going to have in the U.S. They apparently don’t watch Family Guy either so they’re not going to get your joke.