A former track & field assistant coach at the University of South Carolina-Upstate was arrested for threatening a reporter, according to a warrant from the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office.
31-year-old Joseph Colton Hodge is accused of sending an email to a Spartanburg Herald-Journal reporter with a threatening video attached. Spartanburg County Sheriff’s deputies say the video shows Hodge singing the Michael Jackson song “Smooth Criminal.”
In the Jackson song, the singer references harm coming to a woman named “Annie.” However, in the video Hodge replaces that name with the reporter’s. The video also shows the reporter’s picture. According to an incident report, a deputy was contacted by the newspaper’s editor Michael Smith about the email. That deputy viewed the video and determined that it constituted a threat.
Hodge was a volunteer assistant track coach at USC-Upstate from 2008 to 2012. He is charged with 2nd-degree harassment.
South Carolina Radio Network has decided not to name the reporter since they are considered a victim in this case. In fact, it’s not clear why Hodge targeted the newspaper, although he has previously been arrested for releasing other threatening videos towards USC-Upstate athletic director Mike Hall.