July 1, 2016

Partly sunny

Facebooker: Bad taste is not a crime

MEDINA — The 20-year-old Columbia Station man accused of using social media to cheer on the gunman who killed 20 children and six adults at the Newtown, Conn., elementary school is asking that a criminal charge filed against him be dismissed, citing free-speech protections.

Medina police charged Joseph W. Resovsky with inducing panic after he posted “im so happy someone shot up all those little (expletives). VIVA LA SCHOOL SHOOTINGS!!!!” on Dec. 14, the day of the killings.

Resovsky filed a motion Wednesday in Medina Municipal Court asking Judge Dale Chase to dismiss the charge, a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

“This charge clearly abridges the Defendant’s freedom of speech and quite possibly freedom of the press as this post was published on Facebook,” Resovsky, who is representing himself in the case, wrote in the motion.

Resovsky argued that his Facebook post did not cause a panic, and therefore, did not violate Ohio law.

“This action, while in bad taste, in no way constitutes an offense,” he wrote. “The Defendant is permitted to express his feelings publicly. This right is guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Ohio Constitution.”

Resovsky’s motion also argues that the Medina Municipal Court does not have jurisdiction in his case, because he wrote the Facebook post in Lorain County, not Medina County.

When contacted by a Gazette reporter Thursday, Resovsky declined to comment further. An arraignment hearing is scheduled Jan. 9.
According to the police report, Resovsky told officers he posted the message because he was tired of seeing all the comments on Facebook about the Connecticut shooting.

“He said he wanted to see how many people would write something on his Facebook page about the comment he left,” the report said.

The report stated that Resovsky said that “he never meant for the comment to offend anyone but he was just trying to make a point.”
Police learned of the Facebook post from a caller. Others mentioned it on the Medina Police Department’s Facebook page.

“There were quite a few posts where people were pretty upset by it,” Medina Police Chief Patrick Berarducci said last week. “I think it scared a lot of people.”

The caller who first alerted police said Resovsky’s Facebook page identified him as a Medina resident.

Resovsky told police that he had moved to Columbia Station but still works in Medina.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.