Secret Service questions teen over Osama bin Laden post on Facebook

Summary:The Secret Service questioned a 13-year-old boy over a post he made on Facebook.

13-year-old Vito LaPinta of Tacoma, Washington faced federal interrogation by a Secret Service agent over a Facebook posting that warned US President Obama of suicide bombers. The boy posted a message on Facebook after Osama bin Laden was killed on May 2, 2011, courtesy of the US Navy SEAL Team Six. He told Obama to be careful of possible retaliatory acts against him by other terror members.

"I was saying how Osama was dead and for Obama to be careful because there could be suicide bombers," the boy told Fox News. A week later, LaPinta was sitting in his fourth period class at Truman Middle School when he was called into the principal's office. "A man walked in with a suit and glasses and he said he was part of the Secret Service. He told me it was because of a post I made that indicated I was a threat toward the president. I was very scared."

A security guard called the child's mother, Timi Robertson, because the principal was on another call. The Tacoma school district admitted a Secret Service agent questioned the boy and said they did not wait for the mother to get there because they thought she didn't take the phone call seriously. "That's a blatant lie," Robertson, who said she had just finished lunch with a friend when she received the phone call, told the Daily Mail.

She was not happy her son was questioned without her knowledge or consent. "I just about lost it," Robertson told Fox News. "My 13 year-old son is supposed to be safe and secure in his classroom and he's being interrogated without my knowledge or consent privately."

When Robertson arrived at the school, the seventh grader had already been talking to the official for half an hour. LaPinta said that the agent finished the interview and told him he was not in any trouble only when his mother arrived. Robertson said she isn't financially able to take legal action but hopes her son's story raises awareness about how the two were treated.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Social Enterprise

About

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years, he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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