A West Kendall teen has been arrested after authorities say he threatened to kill a Miami-Dade cop while chatting on the increasingly popular web broadcast service Periscope.
Jean-Michael Montenegro, 19, was charged this week with cyber stalking and written threats. He appeared in court Tuesday and was later released from jail on a $6,000 bond.
Periscope, an offshoot of the social-media app Twitter, allows users to broadcast live using their smart phones or tablets. Viewers can then chime in on a real-time chat that appears on the screen.
On April 8, a Miami-Dade police sergeant was being interviewed on a “department-sanctioned” broadcast from Goulds Park about recruiting future officers.
Detectives say Montenegro — with the user name “jeanmon600” — entered the Periscope chat and wrote “I’ll kill u sergeant.”
The sergeant, whose name was not released, said “he was in fear for his life and has since altered his living patterns,” Miami-Dade Detective Roy Rutland, of the Homeland Security Bureau, wrote in an arrest report.
Investigators scoured social media and identified Montenegro, who blurted out “I didn’t mean to threaten that guy!” when he was confronted, police said. Montenegro eventually confessed he was behind the threat, police said.
His defense lawyer, Matthew Ladd, said on Tuesday that Montenegro is innocent.
“The allegations do not support that any crime has been committed. We have entered a plea of not guilty and are investigating the allegations to determine why exactly the arresting officer decided to arrest Jean,” Ladd said.
Crimes involving social media — Facebook, Instagram and Twitter among others — have increased as the programs have become ingrained in daily habits.
Periscope, which is owned by Twitter, launched in March 2015. As its use has increased, so too have incidents involving the live-streaming app. In one particularly troubling case, an Ohio teen girl stands accused of live-streaming her friend’s rape. She was recently charged in connection with the attack and this week pleaded not guilty.
Last fall, a Lakeland woman was charged with DUI after she used Periscope to live-stream herself driving home while drunk.
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