Fans and pranksters who harassed referee John Higgins following Kentucky’s NCAA Tournament loss to North Carolina could face felony charges and lawsuits according to a report by the Courier-Journal.
According to the article, terroristic threats can trigger felony charges punishable by up to three years in prison.
Additionally, folks who trashed Higgins’ personal business could be in line for civil lawsuits.
Check out the article:
Some of them may have acted out because of alcohol. Some may have been prompted by UK coach John Calipari’s caustic post-game comments, by the provocation of vigilante media or under the illusion of internet anonymity. At least a few of them, though, may have cause to be concerned about the tracks they have left.
“Most of them are people who aren’t thinking through what they’re doing,” Polikov said. “It’s bar talk. People say things that they shouldn’t say every day. (But) it isn’t a defense to say I couldn’t get there to do it. … We don’t have to determine that the person could even carry it out. The idea is that the (target) is frightened and threatened and fearful. That would be our measure.”
Though it seems improbable UK fans would face extradition over alleged misdemeanors, terroristic threats can trigger felony charges punishable by up to three years in prison. Anticipating a full report may be weeks away, Polikov could not rule out pursuing felony charges on Friday.
“I think everyone should be concerned when they’re breaking the law,” he said. “People need to know we’re serious.”
Those fans who posted malicious comments about Higgins’ business could also be in line for civil lawsuits for tortious interference, as people who have posted negative reviews about contractors, dentists and pet sitters have learned in recent years.