UK & World News

  • 18 April 2014, 10:10

Police Raid Home Over Parody Twitter Account

A team of plainclothes police officers has raided a home in California to unmask the author of a parody Twitter account purporting to be the local mayor.

Up to seven police officers arrested three people at the home in West Bluff, Peoria, and seized phones and computers.

Two other people who live at the address were picked up by officers at their places of work.

One of those held, Michelle Pratt, 27, told the Peoria Journal Star: "They just asked me about the Twitter account, if I knew anything about it.

"They brought me in like I was a criminal."

She said she spent more than three hours in an interview room before being questioned by detectives.

The @PeoriaMayor account - now suspended - was set up in late February, and included a photo of Peoria mayor Jim Ardis and a biography including his city email address.

The account contained offensive messages, referencing sex and drugs and making comparisons to Toronto mayor Rob Ford.

On March 10, the account was tweaked to indicate it was a parody account.

Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard said officers were investigating the creator of the account for false personation of a public official.

The offence is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 (1,489) and up to a year in jail.

The raid resulted in one person being arrested and charged for possessing marijuana.

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