Babak Taherzadeh is being branded as an internet “troll” after he was jailed in June for repeatedly threatening people, including a judge and his family, and ignored court orders to stay off of social media.
“Babak Taherzadeh is a troll,” wrote Dallas News in a story on Taherzadeh’s situation. “He plays an online character, one he says doesn’t reflect who he really is. That character has gotten him into trouble.”
However, Judge Brandon Birmingham and the Dallas courts don’t consider him to be a “troll,” citing a lengthy past of sending death threats, using ten Twitter accounts to harass and threaten a state district judge and his family, and with Taherzadeh’s own family reportedly even afraid of him.
After being ordered to cease using social media following death threats made against his brother-in-law over a debt, Taherzadeh attacked the ruling judge on Twitter under various different accounts, reportedly making posts such as “pray for the death of @JudgeBirmingham”, “Wanna see me bitch slap a State District Judge? I am not one to trifle with”, and various others which have since been deleted and were alleged to include remarks about Judge Birmingham’s children.
Taherzadeh is currently being held in the Dallas County Jail on a felony stalking charge after Judge Birmingham claimed to be “in fear for the life of his family and for his own”.
“There were a lot of ugly things, but there’s nothing against the law that says you can’t be ugly. You can be an a——, and that’s what I tend to be a lot of the time, OK?” said Taherzadeh in an interview. “But that’s not against the law.”
“When I was in his court, I said, ‘yes sir’ and ‘no sir,’” he continued. “The way I handled it online, that would not be the way I would handle it with him in person as Babak Taherzadeh.”
Dallas News reports that Taherzadeh “had grown obsessive about a debt he believes he was owed.”
“His family said he started spiraling after he was evicted and he started demanding money from his brother-in-law,” they report. “Taherzadeh was indicted in April 2014 on a harassment charge for threatening to kill his brother-in-law via text messages. Even after his arrest, Taherzadeh continued to email his brother-in-law.”
Judge Birmingham ruled in June 2015 that Taherzadeh has “violated his bond requirements” by continuing to harass his brother-in-law, and as such ordered him to cease using social media and other forms of digital communication.
As early as September, Taherzadeh started to harass Judge Birmingham on Twitter over the ruling and was ordered to serve 100 days in county jail.
After his release, Taherzadeh allegedly continued to harass Judge Birmingham, making violent threats and connotations, and was eventually arrested once again.
“A person who plays a Nazi on a television show isn’t a Nazi. Okay? Howard Stern isn’t who Howard Stern portrays himself to be on the radio. Everyone has characters and roles,” Taherzadeh concluded. “Now mine did venture a little bit into a very personal matter. My feelings with the 292nd court, and particularly Judge Birmingham and stuff… But it was the character I was portraying”.