Wisconsin Court Reverses Conviction for Alleged Threat
From Town of Brookfield v. Gonzalez, decided Oct. 27 by Wisconsin Court of Appeals Presiding Judge Gundrum, but just posted on Westlaw:
On January 2, 2018, Gonzalez had approximately 300 followers on his social media accounts. That evening, he posted a series of photos to his Instagram story.  The first photo showed a ticket to the 10:00 p.m. showing of “Jumanji” at “Majestic of Brookfield” and included the statement “[h]ave to wait till 10” with a smiley-face emoji.  The second photo, which the photo itself and trial testimony indicate was posted to Instagram shortly after the first photo, included numerous loose bullets and a hand holding a loaded magazine.  The third photo on Gonzalez’s Instagram story was of the inside of a darkened movie theater.
Garrett Bartelt, an acquaintance of Gonzalez’s from their youth, happened to be at the same 10:00 p.m. showing of Jumanji at the Majestic Cinema. According to Bartelt’s testimony, shortly before the start of the movie, by “happenstance”https://reason.com/”randomly,” he “managed to come across” Gonzalez’s Instagram story and saw these three photos. He added that the backs of his head and his friends’ heads were visible in the third photo, but he acknowledged that he had no idea Gonzalez was going to be in the theater that night, that Gonzalez would not have known that he (Bartelt) was going to be in the theater that night, and that Gonzalez would not have been “directing” these social media posts at him.
Bartelt then went to Gonzalez’s Snapchat account and observed there  a photo that included a hand holding a handgun, with a loaded magazine nearby. This Snapchat photo was posted around the same time as the Instagram photos of the movie ticket and the loaded magazine and loose bullets.
When Bartelt saw these photos, he was “troubled,” adding “[t]he fact that you could see my friends and I in the very last picture obviously was quite jarring …. [M]y friends and I were worried about our safety and the safety of those around us.” Bartelt showed the photos to a friend sitting with him who “didn’t have much of a reaction verbally,” but, according to Bartelt, “was quite scared as well” upon seeing them.
Bartelt and his friends left the theater and informed a security guard at Majestic Cinema of their concerns because “on the off chance that something actually does happen, there is a disturbance or violence that occurs and we had prior knowledge about being able to leave …. I would feel horrendous if something were to have happened [to others at the theater] and they didn’t have that prior knowledge.” Bartelt further testified that based on what he had seen on Gonzalez’s stories, he thought “there was a chance there would be” a shooting in the theater that evening.
Majestic Cinema personnel contacted the police, who responded and executed a plan to detain G
Article from Reason.com