Chesterfield woman arrested for 'Facebook thugging'

Chesterfield woman arrested for 'Facebook thugging'

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A Facebook feud ends with a Chesterfield woman in police custody. She was charged with harassment by computer.

"I feel like it's ridiculous because we were all guilty," said 26-year-old Kristin Holmes. "And I admit...I was childish and argued as well. Everybody was arguing."

Kristin says she was mistaken for another woman. She decided to post a photo with her holding a gun.

"I'll post a few actual pics of me so you know the difference when you 'come find me,'" read the Facebook caption.

"What happened to freedom of speech?" said Holmes. "And it was just a picture. It wasn't a threat. I thought it was a funny picture, and then I realized later that it was a little bit intimidating. So I took it down."

Holmes now faces a Class 1 misdemeanor that could lead to one year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine.

"And there is no such thing as a petty crime," said Kevin Carroll with the Fraternal Order of Police. "There is no such thing as a petty offense."

According to state code, using a computer to send vulgar or indecent language or to threaten illegal or immoral acts could get you slapped with the same charge.

"You're arresting someone for using bad words?" we asked Carroll.

"It's actually against the law to say it in public," said Carroll. "It's a part of the disorderly conduct statute. If it's against the law to say it in public..why wouldn't it be against the law to say it to someone through a computer?"

Holmes has a message for the community.

"Be careful what you put on the internet," said Holmes."Because you can go to jail for it. Facebook thugging is a crime."

Holmes lives in Chesterfield, but the harassment by computer charge was brought by Henrico Police.  Holmes says she plans to fight to have the charge dismissed.

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