Arrested for Facebook posts about shooting Obama, Miami student's troubles deepen after college newspaper interview



For posting comments on Facebook about shooting President Obama, Miami Dade College student Joaquin Serrapio was sentenced to probation and 250 hours of community service earlier this year. A judge encouraged him to talk to other students about using social media responsibly.

Now Serrapio is facing a tougher punishment following an interview with his college’s newspaper, the Miami Dade Community College Reporter, in which he talked flippantly about the case.

“It wasn’t funny to everyone in my family,” Serrapio told The Reporter in an article published last week. “But it was pretty funny to me and my friends.”

Serrapio said the news about his threat has increased the popularity of his rock group, The J. Valor Band.

“A lot of good has come out of this, even for my music,” Serrapio said in the article. “The same week I got out of jail, which was Feb. 27, I had a show that Saturday and a lot of people showed up to see the kid who threatened to kill the president.”

The article ran in the same issue as a guest column by Serrapio on being careful using social media, part of his community service. In the column, Serrapio said making the threats was the biggest mistake of his life.

Responding to the article, U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke modified Serrapio’s probation Tuesday, sentencing him to a halfway house for the next 45 days. The modifications also included a 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. curfew and home detention with electronic monitoring for a year after his release from the halfway house.

The original threats were posted on Facebook under an alias, which included asking others to join in to “assassinate Obummer while hes [sic] at UM” and saying that he was going to put a bullet through the President’s head.

Serrapio is appealing the sentencing.

Tagged: College Student Media/Journalism, First Amendment