MALIBU—Benjamin Tucker Patz, 23 was placed in police custody March 5, for sending graphically violent messages to a member of the Pepperdine Waves last year.
On March 9, 2019, Patz, who is a student at Columbia University, used the Instagram handle @b8hsg to send the messages. The messages included “I will enter your house as you sleep and kill you” and ” Watch your back, you’re a dead man walking.” The messages were traced back to the suspect – “Parly Pratz,” as he was known in betting circles – IP address.
A complaint formally lodged against him in Florida, cited several other threats made by the suspect against several players, both professional and collegiate.
Pepperdine Athletics made the following statement to The Graphic: “Last year at the WCC Basketball Championship in Las Vegas, a member of our men’s basketball team received threats against him and his family. The safety of our student-athletes is our highest priority and officials of the West Coast Conference were immediately informed. The Las Vegas Police Department, as well as Pepperdine’s Department of Public Safety, provided immediate support and within hours the source of the threats was identified. We are thankful to the Las Vegas Police and our own Department of Public Safety for their assistance.”
The complaint was submitted in an affidavit by FBI special agent Daniel Nowak and would carry a minimum sentence of 5 years in federal prison.
The affidavit further mentions 15 Instagram DMs sent to athletes and their wives and girlfriends, throughout July 2019. All of messages contained violent language, and one of them included a racial slur. Some of the messages mention bets and money lost that Patz allegedly blames on the athletes.
Other athletes mentioned in the affidavit may include Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edmen, Josh Donaldson, and Freddy Galvis.
Patz was known for risky gambles that would come times have big payoffs. He once bet on a 13-game parlay with a +4675 odds to win. He won $326,000 that night.
Patz is scheduled to appear in a federal courthouse in Tampa, Florida. His bail is set at $100,000.