Arrested by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office this week, 27-year-old Rachel Anne Hayes was taken into custody after allegedly assaulting her 72-year-old grandmother over a social media disagreement. According to the Tampa Bay Times, this incident occurred on Wednesday night when Hayes was questioning her grandmother about a Facebook friend request. Her grandmother wasn’t interested in accepting the request until Hayes changed the screen name on the account. According to the account from police, the 72-year-old women thought the name on the account was inappropriate and requested that Hayes change it immediately.
After an extensive argument over the name, Hayes exited the residence. However, Hayes returned to the home and continued the verbal argument at the doorstep. At this point, Hayes allegedly started slapping her grandmother multiple times. Fortunately, the 72-year-old woman was able to shut the door to the residence before further violence occurred.
On Thursday, police officers with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office picked up Hayes and charged her with aggravated battery on an elderly person. If convicted of that felony, Hayes will face a minimum of three years in prison in addition to fines ranging up to $10,000. Beyond that, the judge can also order restitution be paid to the individual harmed in the attack as well as up to 500 hours of community service to be completed after the prison sentence.
After being taken to Pinellas County jail, Hayes was released upon posting bond. It’s likely that she will need representation by an attorney, assuming her grandmother doesn’t drop the charges. According to the arrest record, alcohol had an influence on the incident. Jail records also indicate that this isn’t the first time Hayes has had legal troubles. Prior to this incident, she has been arrested for a DUI, violation of probation for DUI, and disorderly conduct (urinating).