Fake Peoria mayor Twitter account prompts house raid
There's no shortage of fake and parody Twitter accounts out there, many of which are ridiculously popular. Just don't get any ideas of setting one up that makes fun of an elected official in Peoria.
That's because one — known as @Peoriamayor (which has been suspended) — resulted in a search warrant being executed by seven plainclothes police officers, the Peoria Journal Star reports.
Three people were taken into custody at the house and two other residents were hauled in from work.
While one resident was booked on drug charges, no charges were filed in connection with the Twitter account.
“They just asked me about the Twitter account, if I knew anything about it,” said Michelle Pratt, 27, a resident who was in the shower when officers first arrived at the front door. “They brought me in like I was a criminal.
“They said they had a search warrant and took all the electronic devices that had Internet access. They said there had been an Internet crime that occurred at this residence.”
Steve Settingsgaard, the Peoria police chief, said they were investigating the creator of the account on grounds that it was false personation of a public official, which is a Class A misdemeanor.
The @Peoriamayor account was created either in late February or early March and included a photo of Mayor Jim Ardis, plus a bio and his city email address.
But then things got crazy. Real crazy.
The account included offensive tweets, with many references to sex and drugs — and some comparisons to everyone's favorite mayor, Toronto's Rob Ford.
Sometime around March 10, the bio was changed to reflect it was a parody account.
Via Journal Star