A 23-year-old sports bettor has been charged with transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce after sending harmful messages to several athletes and their families, including members of the Super Bowl LIII-winning New England Patriots team.
Benjamin Tucker Patz, better known as “Parlay Patz,” could face up to five years in federal prison if convicted, per ESPN’s David Purdum. In addition to the Patriots, Patz’s targets included members of the Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, the girlfriend of an Atlanta Braves player, an Arizona college basketball player and a Pepperdine college basketball player. The criminal complaint claims Patz sent roughly 18 messages from his @parlaypatz Instagram account, as well as 300-plus over the span of various anonymous accounts that are believed to be tied to Patz, per ESPN.
As for the Patriots, Patz’s violent messages were delivered following his failed bet on the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.
“On Feb. 3, 2019, according to the complaint, Patz posted a screenshot of a $10,000 bet on the Los Angeles Rams against the Patriots in Super Bowl LIII,” Purdum wrote. “On the same day, the complaint states that multiple players for the Patriots received direct messages on Instagram threatening to ‘rape’ and ‘murder’ family members.”
Patz officially was charged in Florida due to his messages toward the Rays, and it’s still unclear whether he will be charged in other districts for the messages he sent to other teams and players, per ESPN.