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The Law & You

Are There Repercussions for Causing Fear of Looting on Facebook?

The Law & You
June 3, 2020

The Law and You

Are There Repercussions for Causing Fear of Looting on Facebook?

Haley Bianco: It’s time now for the “Law & You.” Joining us today virtually we have attorneys Ed Ciarimboli and Greg Fellerman. Thanks for joining us guys. We have an important topic to talk about today, as it’s a very upsetting time in our country. Yesterday in the Wilkes Barre area we had a little taste of it, a little scare, as someone posted on Facebook that they were planning to loot at the Wilkes Barre Walmart. It didn’t end up happening, but it scared many people and now viewers are reaching out with questions as to are there repercussions for causing fear like this?

Ed Ciarimboli: Haley, there are a multitude of repercussions. First and foremost, it shouldn’t have happened. I mean, you know, right now tensions are at an all-time high. They need to come down, and this is not helping at all. But from a criminal standpoint, this individual could potentially be arrested for terroristic threats. It’s very similar to yelling fire in a movie theater. And then beyond that, a potentially more serious for this individual is you have Wegmans, Walmart, all of these businesses that shut down and lost the ability to earn profits during that time period that they shut down. They can sue this individual for those lost profits and very candidly, they should because these comments, there’s no place for them. It’s completely and totally irresponsible for these individuals to be doing that at this particular point.

Greg Fellerman: Yeah and strictly from a criminal standpoint, the statute is very clear, and in this situation when they cause a business to be interrupted, the building, they’re entitled to restitution because they cleared the building based upon a threat and now that upgrades to a felony three and I think there’s a whole host of ramifications that can fall upon an irresponsible person. I’m not sure what the district attorneys office is doing. I’m sure they’re looking at it. But this is the type of stuff that just really doesn’t need to happen. People have a right to protest. I think everybody knows that but this is the stuff that is crossing the line.

Haley: Absolutely. Well, thank you so much for the insight. I know many people have had questions about this. If you have some more questions pick up the phone and give them a call or find them online. If you have more questions for the “Law & You” you can go to

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The Law & You is a nightly feature on channels WBRE-TV 28 and WYOU-TV 22 where the attorneys from Fellerman & Ciarimboli answer legal questions. If you have a question that you want answered by the Law & You attorneys, please submit the form on this page or call the hotline at 1-888-570-HURT.

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