What should be done if someone is receiving threatening text messages about harm to be done to someone else?

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What should be done if someone is receiving threatening text messages about harm to be done to someone else?

A girl, who is a minor, is getting threatened by an 18 year old boy. This boy is threatening both to hurt her and kill her. All this is over text message. Proof of these texts can be provided by a friend – “Oh wow. If your a friend of katy’s, then you better say your goodbyes to her..” and “Cause she is goin to be gone soon.. Or in a lot of pain” . More direct text messages are saved on his phone.

Asked on July 25, 2011 California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

She (or her parents, etc.) should go the police. Not only is sending threats like that itself a crime, but it can be evidence of another planned or to-be-attempted crime as well. Threats of physical harm should be taken with the utmost seriousness, so this girl needs to treat this like what it is--a threat to her life--and report it to the police.

She might also want to take out a restraining or protective order against this boy. When she talks to the police, they can advise her as to the mechanics of doing so and also as what such an order can and cannot do, how long it may be in place for, etc.


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