Some Atlanta Braves players were among those who received threats of decapitation from a New York-based gambler last season.
Recent court documents allege that Benjamin Tucker Patz, 23, of New York sent hundreds of messages threatening the lives of players and their families last season, including some Atlanta Braves players.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa is charging Patz with transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce. This investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation after Rays players reported the threats.
"Parlay Patz" is facing a maximum of five years in prison.
Patz had recently won more than $1 million betting on sports and is known by his alias, "Parlay Patz." The U.S. Attorney claims Patz sent violent and threatening messages to four players on the Tampa Bay Rays following a loss to the Chicago White Sox on July 20, 2019.
He used anonymous Instagram accounts to send direct messages to unnamed players. Here are a few of the disturbing messages that were sent to the Rays' players, as revealed in the official court documents.
“I will enter your home while you sleep…And sever your neck open…I will kill your entire family…Everyone you love will soon cease…I will cut up your family…Dismember the[m] alive”
“Your family’s necks will be severed open with a dull knife! ... Your family will die!”
“Unfortunately 0-5 against the Chicago White Sox isn’t going to cut it. Because of your sins, I will have to behead you and your family”
“Your family will be beheaded.”
He messaged players on the Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland Athletics, San Diego Padres, and the Atlanta Braves.
These are in addition to the reports of his threats to several Rays players and one White Sox player.
Authorities were able to trace the accounts back to Patz, who threatened players and their families with violence, death, and used racial slurs.
Hopefully, he's just a 23-year-old who won some money and made some terrible decisions online. But sending over 200 threatening messages raises so many alarms and is unacceptable.
This is a very scary situation, and we hope Patz gets the help that he needs.