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Published on March 29, 2024
Lake Worth Mother Charged With Threatening Child on TikTok in Palm Beach CountySource: Facebook/PBSO - Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

In a fit of digital rage that has landed her behind bars, a Florida mom is accused of crossing the line from protection to harassment after purportedly targeting her daughter's 11-year-old classmate on social media. Paola Zarate Lassalle, a 28-year-old mother from Lake Worth, was cuffed after cops say she boldly threatened a child on TikTok, a move that many find not only troubling, but also criminal.

Reports say that the skirmish between Zarate Lassalle and the young girl allegedly began in late January when Zarate and her husband, Jose Lassalle, sent messages threatening to go to the girl's house and "beat her up." The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office noted in the report, as per CBS12 News, that the Lassalles even taunted the child for appearing scared. This online confrontation sprung up despite earlier reports that the school the girls both attend, Okeeheelee Community Middle School in Greenacres, had resolved issues between Zarate's daughter and the classmate in question.

Community responses were swift and disapproving, with one Palm Beach County dad telling CBS12 News, "To reach out directly to the kid in that way certainly seems very aggressive and excessive, instead of handling as adults should, between adults." Another local mother mirrored this sentiment in a separate interview with WPEC, highlighting the insidious nature of social media which allows "for people to be more vicious online."

Zarate is currently charged with one count of making a written threat, and after posting a $15,000 bond, was released under the condition that she would not have access to social media. Many in the community still shaking their heads, struggling to understand why an adult would to choose to fight back with the same alleged bullying tactics that they are condemning. As one Palm Beach County mom put it in a WPEC interview, "I would address it with the adults in this situation. The other parent, the teachers, the community. I don't think it’s appropriate to address it towards a child." The status of Jose Lassalle has yet to be clarified, with current reports leaving it indeterminate if he will also face charges related to the incident.

Miami-Community & Society