Everybody say hi to Bobby Metzinger. St. Louis police arrested him over the weekend and charged him with making terroristic threats against the city of Boston from his Twitter account. The 30-year-old former PR professional was once highlighted by a St. Louis television station for having landed a job because of his social media skills. Though a native of the Midwest, he's also a Yankees fan who recently hopped on the Cardinals bandwagon. That's his mug shot right there. Best fan in the world!
A source tells us Metzinger had a habit of using now-deleted Twitter account to cheerlead for George Zimmerman and to explain his hatred for Obama, his love for guns, and his "Christian" take on gay rights. He first drew the wider attention of the Twitterverse last week, when he authored a couple of tweets that joked about the Boston bombing, two of which were shared by the indispensable @BestFansStLouis:
Hell, even the Iron Shiek took him to task:
The situation might have died down otherwise, but then Metzinger sent another tweet on Friday that referenced an Offspring song about gun violence with the cryptic admonition that something was set to "go down very soon":
Our source was also among those who had gone to the police to report Metzinger. The source said that while Metzinger may have been joking, the source did not want it on his or her conscience if something awful were to go down and possible warning signs like this were ignored. Court records indicate Metzinger was released on bail Tuesday and that he's currently on house arrest until his next court hearing, which is scheduled for Nov. 22.
So who is Bobby Metzinger? He's apparently spent the last few days trying to scrub his personal information from the internet, but from what we can gather, he's a St. Louis resident and St. Louis University graduate with experience in various PR jobs, most recently as the social media manager at a marketing communications firm. Our source said Metzinger was recently fired from that job.
Adds our source: "Hardcore Yanks baseball, Notre Dame football guy. He's bandwagon Cards. You can check the reaction to the initial Best Fan tweets, but more than a few internet sleuths plowed through his tweets and figured out he worships at the altar of Jeter." (Googling "Bobby Metzinger" and "Yankees" brings up some deleted tweets about Metzinger's intense Yankees fandom.)
Metzinger once lived in Texas and worked as the director of new media for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas. He also used to be a writer for Bleacher Report and a columnist for the Peoria (Ill.) Journal Star. Three years ago, Metzinger's social media prowess was highlighted by KMOV, which on its website had this to say about him:
Bobby Metzinger, a SLU grad, found himself unemployed in Dallas. So, he created a Twitter account and constantly updated followers on his job search. He told me that the effort lead him to some freelance work and as of Monday, a permanent position as a Social Media Specialist for a Dallas-area firm. The company contacted him after others re-tweeted some of his tweets.
His advice: keep the tweets professional and positive. Metzinger focused on his skills and what he was looking for. He said, "don't tweet about what you're doing on a Friday night".
The Twitter account Metzinger created at that time? @unemployedinPR.