USF investigates social media threats against Muslim American speaker

TAMPA, Fla. - Tamika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour are the three co-founders of the Women's March in Washington.

"I believe people have the freedom to criticize and say the most disparaging things they want because this is a free country," said Sarsour.

But Sarsour, a Muslim-American activist, says what's unacceptable is a death threat made on social media before a speaking engagement at USF Wednesday night.

"Unfortunately, I've been in this situation many times before so it's not my first experience with death threats against me," said Sarsour.

A Wesley Chapel man, Wes Giuliano, who also claims he's a Florida Hospital Zephyrhills employee writes on Facebook:

"Any idea which hotel she's staying at, the make/model/color of the car she's riding into campus in, which entrance/exits she will be using, and whether or not she will be wearing any body armor? Asking for a friend."

"I'm very grateful to live in a country where people recognize that it's wrong," said Sarsour.

USF Police confirms Giuliano admits to making the post but says because it's not a specific threat, there's no evidence to support criminal charges.

USF says Giuliano will be arrested if he shows up on campus. 

We knocked on Giuliano's door in Wesley Chapel and called him, but got no response.

"I get more encouraged, more motivated to send a message to young women of color, young Muslims across the country that we will not be silenced or intimidated," said Sarsour.

Florida Hospital responded on social media saying:

"This is an active investigation. We are working closely with USF Police Department, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Zephyrhills Police Department."

Print this article Back to Top