“A local case of textual harassment”

Shannon Fatheree, 6362 Log Cabin Road, was arrested by the Morehouse Parish Sheriff's Department and charged with a misdemeanor for “harassing text calls” on Friday, January 4.

A relatively new cyber law includes electronic communications as a means of harassment. The law counteracts harassment on a new level by prohibiting any unwanted or disturbing text message. The law also includes all electronic messages, such as emails, and deemed them capable of being prosecuted as a form of harassment.

On Friday, January 4 the MPSD received complaint that Shannon Fatheree was texting threatening messages to an individual and her relative. According to an official report both victims told Fatheree to stop texting them and Fatheree was warned twice before being placed under arrest.

One of the messages sent by Fatheree stated “why won't y'all die, all of you,” was recorded in the officer's report.

According to the Website www.wisegeek.org/what-is-text-harassment.htm, text harassment is defined as “a form of harassment involving the use of text messaging services. Harassers can use a number of tactics including flooding the victim with text messages and sending abusive or threatening messages. This form of harassment often accompanies dating violence, bullying, or sexual harassment in the workplace.”

There are ways to fight text harassment and one is to make sure and save the messages for proof, as stated on the Website www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs2a-cellcalls.htm. Another way to end harassing or annoying text messages is to simply block the messenger.

MPSD Chief Criminal Deputy Brian Shoemaker said the police department receives numerous complaints of text harassment.

Shoemaker also said text harassment falls in the same category as harassing phone calls, and will be regarded as the same.