Sports bettor charged with threatening to ‘behead’ Tampa Bay Rays player’s family


ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – APRIL 22: Joey Wendle #18 of the Tampa Bay Rays hits in the sixth inning during a game against the Kansas City Royals at Tropicana Field on April 22, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

TAMPA (WFLA) – U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez has charged 23-year-old gambler Ben “Parlay” Patz with allegedly threatening to carry out acts of violence against athletes and their families, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida announced Wednesday.

According to the complaint, Patz used various anonymous accounts on Instagram to threaten multiple Rays players including one with initials C.R. following a Rays home loss to the Chicago White Sox on July 20, 2019.

 Patz made the following threats to the Tampa Bay Rays players:

  • “I will enter your home while you sleep…And sever your neck open…I will kill your entire family…Everyone you love will soon cease…I will cut up your family…Dismember the[m] alive”;
  •  “Your family’s necks will be severed open with a dull knife!…Your family will die!”;
  •  “Unfortunately 0-5 against the Chicago White Sox isn’t going to cut it.  Because of your sins, I will have to behead you and your family”
  •  “Your family will be beheaded.”

The only player with the initials C.R. on the Rays at the time of the game was Relief Pitcher Chaz Roe.

Patz, who resides in both New York and California and goes by the moniker “Parlay Patz,” had recently won more than $1 million by wagering on sports events. 

The charge against Patz is transmitting threats in interstate or foreign commerce. If convicted, Patz faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The case was investigated with the FBI as part of the Bureau’s Integrity in Sport and Gaming Initiative, which is designed, among other things, to combat threats of influence from criminal enterprises.

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