Teen Facing Terrorism Charges after Threatening to Give Others COVID-19


Nic Rendon, Contributor

Across the world, the Coronavirus remains a large issue that has yet to be solved. There is no known cure or vaccine for the virus, and it is very contagious. This leads to most people being forced to stay in their homes until the virus is contained and unlikely to spread. That being said, if one person has the virus and surrounds themselves with people, problems arise very quickly. Those people are then at risk of contracting the virus, and they also risk giving it to others, making the whole pandemic much more problematic. This is why people are outraged at a teenager from Dallas, Texas.

Recently, 18 year old Lorraine Maradiaga went to Snapchat to discuss her take on the Coronavirus pandemic. On Snapchat, she proceeded to claim that she was infected with the virus. She then stated that she was in a Walmart parking lot, about to infect others, “because if I’m going down, all y’all…going down.” The video started gaining attention for this, leading to the police hearing about it. The police started investigating immediately, trying to find the girl that made these claims and arrest her.

On April 5, the police took a screen recording of the video and posted it on their Facebook account, saying that they were planning on “charging her with terroristic threat,” which happens to be a felony of the third degree. On that day, they had not yet found her, but were still searching.  They had no solid proof that she did in fact test positive for COVID-19, but they decided to take very serious action on her posts.

The following days, they continued to search for this woman and arrest her. Finally, on Tuesday, April 7, the police were able to locate and arrest Lorraine Maradiaga. Once she was questioned, Maradiaga claimed to have tested negative for the Coronavirus, but the cops still had no evidence to prove that she was negative. Her bond was set at $20000, and when released, she would have to serve a twenty one day quarantine as precaution. It is unlikely that she will receive any serious punishment for this crime, considering that she turned out negative and was not actually planning on spreading the virus to other individuals. It is unknown whether her statement was meant to be a joke or if she was trying to cause trouble.

It is a good thing that the cops took action towards this woman, but the charges they put her on can be debatable. The fact that she was put on terrorism charges may have been a little extreme, especially because she never actually tested positive for the virus at all. Either way, this was a very foolish act by this teenage girl. It is never a good thing to make a joke about harming others during a time when the possibility of giving someone the virus is very likely. The fact that the whole world is in an uproar about the virus does not help her case as well.