Fact Check: CBS News Did NOT Report A Florida Man Kidnapped 27 People To Force Them To Play Yahtzee

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fact Check: CBS News Did NOT Report A Florida Man Kidnapped 27 People To Force Them To Play Yahtzee Fake Tweet

Did CBS News report on Twitter that a Florida man had been arrested for kidnapping 27 people and forcing them to play Yahtzee for 36 hours straight? No, that's not true: the widely viral screenshot of a tweet supposedly sent by @CBSNews is not real. The orange-haired, red-faced man in the mugshot in the tweet is actually a Louisiana man who was arrested in 2016 after a church burglary.

An example of the fake tweet could be seen in a viral Facebook post (archived here) published by a comedian going by the name "Bardock Obama" on Facebook. The text of the false tweet read:

Florida man, 37, arrested for kidnapping 27 people and forcing them to play Yahtzee for 36 hours straight.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Jan 19 09:55:55 2021 UTC)

Lead Stories checked the Twitter account of CBS News and found no tweet with the phrase "Florida Man" for January 16, 2021 when the tweet in the screenshot was supposedly sent (search results archived here).

However we did find this press release from the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office from 2016 (archived here) which explained:

TPSO Detectives Arrest Church Burglar
Mar. 16, 2016
HAMMOND, LA - On 03/15/2016, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office Burglary Unit made an arrest and recovery of stolen property from the Little Rivers United Pentecostal Church burglary that occurred at the beginning of March.

Detectives received information which led to the arrest of 22 year old Brett Gonzales from Woodhaven Road in Tickfaw. Upon Detectives interviewing Brett Gonzales, Gonzales admitted to committing the burglary of the church. Brett Gonzales also provided Detectives with the location of the property that was stolen. Detectives recovered the stolen property and return it to the church.


(Source: screenshot of https://www.tpso.org/news-releases/50622 made by Lead Stories on January 19, 2021)

  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
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