Police have issued an arrest warrant for a frustrated lottery player who repeatedly threatened the lives of Pennsylvania Lottery staff.
On Wednesday, state police announced they were seeking the arrest of 47-year-old Towanda Shields (pictured) for making dozens of death threats against staff at the Pennsylvania Lottery headquarters between April and December 2016. Shields is facing three counts of uttering terroristic threats, 25 counts of harassment and 25 counts of stalking.
Local media quoted Lower Swatara Township police Detective Robert Appleby saying Shields “plays lottery a lot and gets very upset by the fact she doesn’t win.” Appleby said Shields was “completely obsessed with the lottery” and her threats became “so relentless it was becoming a concern.”
Shields reportedly made the threats live over the phone on up to a dozen occasions as well as via 21 voice mail messages, and Appleby claimed “she would get really sexually explicit with her insults.” Shields allegedly claimed her threats were permissible under freedom of expression laws.
Shields is accused of telling Lottery staff she’d Googled their home residences while claiming to have paid some goons to hurt employees’ family members. On one occasion, Shields told staff at the local retail outlet in Philadelphia where she regularly purchased tickets that “somebody’s going to die” on Halloween.
Shields told Appleby that she’d never be caught by police due to her using anonymous ‘burner’ phones, and Appleby said it would have been a lot harder identifying her as the caller had she not given away clues to her identify during her “very graphic and vulgar” rants.
At this point, it’s probably not much of a surprise that whoever won $3.2m in Monday’s Match 6 Lotto drawing has yet to come forward. Secretly, we’re hoping Shields is the winner, because we cannot wait to see the photo of her trying to hold the giant novelty check aloft while wearing handcuffs.