YouTube star Deshae Frost allegedly encouraged hundreds of teen fans to attend a meet-and-greet at SouthCenter Mall, which ended in pandemonium that sparked fears of a mass shooting. The Youtube star allegedly posted to his fans, “let's show up at the mall at 5, let's get kicked out.” The teens left the mall in a group, screaming claims that a gunman was inside. Police stated that there was no mass shooting at the mall and described the scene as a flash mob that was possibly staged or encouraged by the star and his fans. The incident is being investigated by police to see if criminal charges could be brought against Frost.
Although Frost has not been charged with any crimes, criminal defense attorney Steve Karimi analyzes possible public disturbance charges, outlined in Chapter 9A.84, that could be brought against Frost or his fans.
A misdemeanor charge for disorderly conduct against Frost may be a possible result of the police investigation. These charges can be brought against an individual who intentionally disrupts any lawful assembly or meeting of persons without lawful authority. Lack of intent to cause a disruption could be a possible defense for Frost, although stating that he wanted the meet and greet group to try to “get kicked out” of the mall may show evidence of intent.
Failure to Disperse
It's possible that misdemeanor failure to disperse charges could be brought against Frost or his individual fans if, at any point during the event, they were ordered to disperse by a law enforcement officer but refused to do so. A person can be charged with failure to disperse if:
(a) He or she congregates with a group of three or more other persons and there are acts of conduct within that group which create a substantial risk of causing injury to any person, or substantial harm to property; and
(b) He or she refuses or fails to disperse when ordered to do so by a peace officer or other public servant engaged in enforcing or executing the law.
A possible defense to these charges would be that the teens did not create a risk of injury to mall patrons or risk property damage.
False reporting is a gross misdemeanor and is another possible charge that could be brought against Frost or his fans for spreading a rumor about an active gunman. In this situation, an individual may be guilty of false reporting if they knew that the information that they were reporting about an emergency situation was false and was likely to result in an evacuation of the mall.
Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Steve Karimi
If you are facing charges related to crimes of public disturbance, it's in your best interests to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Attorney Karimi has been fighting for the rights of clients throughout Washington for years. Contact the Law Offices of Steve Karimi 24 hours a day by calling 206-660-6200 for a free consultation.