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Valley man receiving death threats after vulgar Facebook post

Posted at 5:39 PM, Jun 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-02 21:22:23-04

A valley man's vulgar and insulting Facebook post has gone viral, and it's led to him receiving multiple death threats.

Now, he's apologizing and giving his side of the story.

Tai shared a female waitress' post about getting lowballed on a tip. 

In his comment, he wrote "F*** this b****. You want a real wage? Develop a real skill and get a real job."

Tai told 13 Action News he was intoxicated when he posted it.

The reaction began almost immediately.

Bianca Stephens is a friend of Tai's who's also a server.

She says his post caused a disagreement between the two of them.

"Frustration was the first emotion that I felt only because a lot of people...generalize the way they think the serving industry is," Stephens said.

Stephens says Tai is regretful.

He took the post down because of the backlash.

Tai chose not to be interviewed for this story, saying instead in an email "[My post] was rude, uncalled for. I don't know [the original poster], I don't know her situation and I was out of place."

He also says he's received threats, writing to 13 Action News, "I've been threatened to be beaten up, mugged, poisoned, had my family beaten up, even death threats. What's too far a retaliation for conflicting opinions?"

Stephens says she was shocked at how the reactions to Tai's post escalated.

"I don't think it's fair at all," she said. "We have freedom of speech. No matter what someone says or does, physical violence is never ok."

Tom Letizia is a public relations professional who agreed the threats are crossing the line, but Tai had to expect some consequences.

"People need to take a little time before they post something and think about the upside and the downside of that post," Letizia said.

Here is the full statement Tai gave to 13 Action News:

"I withdrew what I initially had written directly insulting the lady who posted the original picture. It was rude, uncalled for. I don't know her, I don't know her situation and I was out of place. I amended my initial statements the next morning, and clarified my position regarding the inherent risks of working in an industry where the salaried wage provided by the majority of employers in said industry is well-known to be disgustingly low, the inconsistencies of human courtesy in the form of gratuity come with no guarantee, and that if your lifestyle or financial responsibilities cannot withstand the inherent fluctuations in tip-based income, that seeking more suitable employment with more reliable compensation might be in your best interest.

Based on my initial post, it being screenshot and then spread around the internet, the initial backlash was fairly severe. Based on that initial post, the initial backlash was fairly warranted. But that's why I retracted my statements and chose to then clarify my stance on these issues in more detail. The majority of the direct messages and threats I received were based on my initial post and not my followup statements. When I was allowed to clarify into greater detail, things settled down.

In this context, social media offers anyone from anywhere from any background to become a keyboard warrior. To build themselves up into anything they want to be perceived to be and to make any sort of statement they want (within reason) without any real fear of reprimand. Situations like this escalate to these places because people are passionate about what they do, what they believe in and why. If I were ever to attempt to give any advice on the subject it would be to get all the facts before jumping to conclusions and making threats to complete strangers."