East Texas man fakes COVID-19 post; faces criminal charge

Man arrested for bogus COVID-19 post

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.

Police determined that the fake post was created by Jimmie Hock.
Police determined that the fake post was created by Jimmie Hock. (Source: TTPD)

“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.

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