Thursday, October 24, 2013

Man arrested for making Twitter threats to Mets and Citi Field

A Connecticut man was arrested Wednesday and charged with making threats against the New York Mets on Twitter. He also made 140-characters-or-less threats to poison the food at Citi Field and blow up the clubhouse, according to a team source.

West Haven police took 42-year-old Aryn Leroux into custody Wednesday, and he was charged with second-degree threatening and breach of peace, according to the Connecticut State’s attorney’s office. Both charges are misdemeanors.



Leroux, a resident of West Haven, is alleged to have threatened Mets players, coaches, executives and in one case, a girlfriend of a player, using the handle @danXtanna via Twitter.

The threatening tweets come a day after New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs and his family were menaced with death threats by another man on Twitter.

The user @danXtanna had long been known as a disgruntled fan to Mets players. Two players said that they were warned about that Twitter user in spring training. Throughout the season, @danXtanna had Twitter disputes with several players, including veteran reliever LaTroy Hawkins.



Much of Leroux’s thumb-bluster was dismissed by the players as that of an overzealous, disgruntled fan and a few, such as reliever David Aardsma, simply blocked him on the social media site.

Last month, however, the threats escalated. The Mets and MLB security investigated what a team source said were “terroristic threats,” and security turned Leroux’s Twitter handle over to Queens police.

On Sept. 13, @danXtanna suggested Mets fans should act like slasher Jason Voorhees from the horror film series “Friday the 13th” mentioning the Mets’ manager, owner and general manager. Also, later in the month, he allegedly threatened to blow up the Mets clubhouse and poison the food at Citi Field, said the source.

Several fans on Twitter, seeing the threats, contacted the Mets and Twitter to alert them. 
Via @danXtanna, Leroux had threatened not only Hawkins, but utility infielder Justin Turner and Turner’s girlfriend, according to a team source. Hawkins and Turner are two active Mets on Twitter.

Hawkins confirmed he had some interaction with the @danXtanna account that he considered threatening.

“It’s good,” Hawkins said of the arrest. “You can’t go around making threats on Twitter and hide. I understand fans being upset, but you cannot threaten people’s lives.”

Hawkins said he enjoys the interaction with fans on Twitter. He said 90% of it is positive, 10% is negative, but Leroux’s tweets stood out for their intensity.

“He threatened to blow us up, he had a whole elaborate scheme,” Hawkins said. “I know fans invest a lot in sports, they put their faith in the players and their teams, but you cannot threaten people’s lives over it.”

Police said Leroux posted $2,500 bail. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday. It was not clear if he has a lawyer, and a phone listing for him was disconnected.

The Mets have not commented on the arrest.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment