LONDON – The list of Twitter transgressions about the Olympics turned criminal Tuesday when police arrested a 17-year-old boy for allegedly making malicious comments following a frenetic exchange of rants against British diver Tom Daley after he fell short of medaling.
Dorset police confirmed that the teenager was arrested at about 2 a.m. Tuesday at a guesthouse in Weymouth, England, and was charged with suspicion of malicious communications.
The arrest comes after two Olympic athletes were expelled from the Games for their inappropriate use of Twitter.
An early morning post by Twitter user @Rileyy_69 said he was "going to the police station now to sort this. I will be back."
That post capped heated exchanges with other users and Daley Monday night after the diver failed to medal.
In a series of posts, @Rileyy_69 called Daley "overhyped'' and said the diver "let us all down. Rather support a tramp.''
As others came to Daley's defense, @Rileyy_69 posted another message, saying "I hold a gun license for shooting birds and I'm gonna shoot yours as well.''
Daley's father died of brain cancer a year ago and the 18-year-old Olympian had hoped to win a medal "for myself and my dad." But he finished fourth on Monday, out of medal contention, in the 10-meter synchronized platform competition with teammate Pete Waterfield.
After, Daley tweeted a message complaining about some of the tweets sent to him by "idiots."
He cited one tweet that read: "You let your dad down i hope you know that."
He said the nasty tweet about his father came in after he had been "giving it my all" in the bid for a medal.
In Britain, tweeting messages considered menacing, offensive or indecent can lead to prosecution.
Police said the man was detained at a bed and breakfast in the southwestern coastal town in the early hours of the morning, and is currently helping police with their inquiries.
The man who made the tweet also apologized in subsequent tweets for any offense had had caused Daley.