Po­lice: Some­one hacked At­lanta man’s Twit­ter, posted threats against At­lanta gay bars

GA Voice - - Newsbriefs -

At­lanta po­lice be­lieve that a dis­pute be­tween At­lanta man Brett Edger­ton and an­other in­di­vid­ual led that sec­ond per­son to hack Edger­ton’s Twit­ter ac­count and post threats about turn­ing two At­lanta gay bars into “the next Or­lando.”

“The orig­i­nal in­di­vid­ual that was on the post was not the au­thor of those tweets and did not make those com­ments based on our in­ves­ti­ga­tion so far,” said Ma­jor Paul Guer­rucci at a June 16 press con­fer­ence. “It ap­pears that that in­di­vid­ual’s iden­tity had been taken and we be­lieve some­body else made those posts based on our in­ves­ti­ga­tion so far.”

Po­lice say there was a re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two but could not spec­ify at this point what the na­ture of that re­la­tion­ship was, but said that a dis­pute led to the hack. They have ques­tioned this sec­ond in­di­vid­ual and the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing. Charges against him are a pos­si­bil­ity and could vary.

“At this point based on what the ac­tual com­ments were, it rises to the level of a mis­de­meanor charge, even if it rises to the level of those charges,” Guer­rucci said. “Ev­ery word that is said dur­ing these things has to be an­a­lyzed and ac­tu­ally de­ter­mine if it’s a true le­git­i­mate threat or if it’s just some­one ex­press­ing their free­dom of speech.”

The tweet from an ac­count listed as @ Bret­tTEdger­ton read “TEN or Blake’s could be the next Or­lando. You think I am the type to be the next ‘shooter’? Keep hat­ing me then…” Screen­shots of that tweet and others spread on so­cial me­dia on June 14, lead­ing many to no­tify At­lanta po­lice. In­ves­ti­ga­tors ques­tioned Edger­ton and said that he was co­op­er­at­ing with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, which is be­ing done with as­sis­tance from the FBI’s Joint Ter­ror­ism Task Force. It is un­clear if the man who hacked Edger­ton’s Twit­ter ac­count did the same for any of his other on­line pro­files.

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Ma­jor Paul Guer­rucci of the At­lanta Po­lice Depart­ment at a June 16 press con­fer­ence. (Photo by Pa­trick Saun­ders)

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