Angry because of a ticket resulting from a minor traffic infraction, a Maryland man, Eugene Matusevich, began relentlessly harassing the officer who wrote the ticket through texts, social media and more. These texts ranged from jokes about donut runs to sensitive personal details. How did he obtain this information?
A friend of his.
Zak Nicholas Thompson, who worked at a financial services company, had access to the officer’s name, phone number, home address, Social Security number, his financial information (including salary information)…even the make and model of the officer’s personal vehicle. He took that information and gave it to Matusevich.
The officer quickly became deluged with texts and phone calls soliciting offers from companies, including a drug rehabilitation center. Insulting messages about the officer were also posted to his family’s Facebook accounts along with demeaning messages about the neighborhood he lived in, and even the type of car he drove.
At one point, he received 17 texts in less than an hour from Matusevich.
Thompson’s lawyer explained his client’s intent wasn’t to aide Matusevich in a full blown harassment campaign of a law enforcement officer. The lawyer implied that Thompson thought the information would only be used for an angry message or two by his friend.
1) The lawyer stated that this was not the case, but do you think that Thompson knew what he was doing when he provided his friend the police officer’s personal details and contact information?
2) Why do you think Thompson either realized or didn’t realize that by giving this information to his friend that he would be held responsible, even though he never contacted the officer?