Report: Former USC Upstate coach threatened Spartanburg reporter with Michael Jackson lyrics

05/17/2013 1:09 PM

05/17/2013 1:10 PM

A former USC Upstate track and field coach is accused of threatening a Spartanburg Herald-Journal reporter using lyrics from the Michael Jackson song “Smooth Criminal.”

Thirty-one-year-old Joseph Colton Hodge sent the reporter an email with a video attached of the man singing the Michael Jackson song, replacing the name “Annie” with the reporter’s name, according to an incident report from the Spartanburg Herald-Journal. The original song contains lyrics in which the singer references harming a woman named “Annie.” Hodge was charged with second-degree harassment sending the video.

It wasn’t the first time Hodge had sent the reporter threatening emails and videos, according to the report. An editor at the paper told police that the reporter had received several similar messages several times in the past.

Hodge has a history of making and uploading videos either criticizing or harassing public figures. Last June, he was also arrested after he uploaded a video to Youtube in which he was accused of harrassing and threatening USC Upstate athletic director Mike Hall and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, according to a Spartanburg Herald-Journal report.

Hall served as a volunteer track coach at the school from 2008 to 2012.

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