Careful Who You 'Flame' Online

Dennis Faas's picture

It seems the practice of Internet "flaming", or aggressively attacking another in the digital world, has now quite literally burned a Texas man.

According to reports, a Virgina resident was so disgusted with a representation of him as a "nerd" that he drove more than 1,300 miles to Waco, Texas (how appropriate) in order to burn down the trailer of the man responsible.

The Internet side of this "flaming" episode dates to 2005, when haunted house owner and Texas resident John Anderson, 59, began posting artwork outlining his political views on a Facebook-esque picture-sharing site. Although it's unclear how Anderson and the accused arson, navy officer Richard Tavares, got so heated with one another, at some point Anderson posted digitally rendered photos of Tavares holding a gun, laptop, and "Revenge of the Nerds" sign. (Source:

Guess you "had to be there".

Regardless of how funny the incident may or may not have been, Tavares wasn't laughing. The 27 year old drove from Virginia to Texas, taking photos of himself along the way, before setting fire to Anderson's trailer with a gasoline-soaked piece of plastic foam. The latter suffered smoke inhalation trying to put out a blaze that eventually left his residence with $50,000 in damage.

As a result, Tavares has been both discharged from the navy and sentenced to seven years in prison for the stunt. (Source:

Tavares, a weapons systems operator (how scary), initially planned on surprising Anderson by shoving a shotgun into his face and blowing the victim's computer to pieces.


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