Mom charged with choking boy over Facebook post

May 30, 2012 at 12:32 PM
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., May 30 (UPI) -- A Florida mother accused of choking a teenage boy at a mall because his comments on Facebook upset her daughter has been released from jail on $5,000 bail.

Police said Debbie Piscitella, 46, of St. Petersburg, confronted the teenage boy after her 14-year-old daughter saw him Monday at Tyrone Square Mall, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

"The mother of the girl became incensed," police spokesman Mike Puetz said. "She put her hands around his throat and started to choke him."

The boy called police, and an officer who responded called his mother, who initially decided against pressing charges.

But Puetz said she decided to press charges after her son came home and "she saw the red marks on his neck."

Piscitella was arrested on a charge of child abuse.

Puetz said Piscitella told him she touched the boy's neck accidentally, but a witness and surveillance camera from a mall store confirmed the teenage boy's account, the Times said.

Piscitella was released from jail Tuesday.

Police didn't say what the boy had posted on Facebook.

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