TEXARKANA, Tx. (KSLA) - A Texarkana man is out on bond after scaring people on social media with a bogus coronavirus post.
Jimmie Hock, 39, of Texarkana, Texas is charged with creating a false alarm or report.
Police say that Hock created a fake Facebook post on Sunday that appeared to be from a legitimate news source, claiming that a case of COVID-19 tested positive in the Bowie County Jail Annex.
Believing that the post was authentic — many people saw it were alarmed and some jail employees said they would not be reporting back to work because of the virus.
“This went far beyond a casual comment or post on social media. He intentionally tried to make this look like a real news story," said Chief Kevin Schutte, in a news release. "He wanted to mislead and scare people who are already incredibly nervous about the COVID-19 virus. Given those fears right now, this was basically the same thing as someone yelling “fire” in a theater. Hopefully, this will serve as a warning to anyone else who might think of doing something like this in the future.”
Hock was booked into the Bi-State Jail on Wednesday, March 25. He was released later in the afternoon, posting a $5,000 bond.