Brit Tourists Refused US Entry Over Twitter Jokes

Pair did not really want to 'destroy America'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2012 12:10 PM CST
Brit Tourists Refused US Entry Over Twitter Jokes
Two tourists were refused entry to the US because of jokes one made via Twitter.   (AP Photo/Rami al-Shaheibi)

Note to would-be US tourists: Be careful with your Twitter jokes before setting foot on our soil. Two Brits were detained and then sent back home after landing in Los Angeles last Monday, all because the Department of Homeland Security was unhappy with two tweets one of them had posted before the trip. Leigh Van Bryan, 26, was first questioned about a tweet that read, "Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America." He explained that "destroy" is slang for partying, but apparently officials didn't buy it.

They also suspected that Van Bryan and his companion, 24-year-old Emily Bunting, meant to disinter Marilyn Monroe, thanks to another tweet that quoted a Family Guy line: "3 weeks today, we're totally in LA p****** people off on Hollywood Blvd and diggin' Marilyn Monroe up!" Despite having the joke explained to them, officials actually searched through the tourists' luggage for shovels and spades, the pair tells the Daily Mail. The two were handcuffed and interrogated for five hours, then placed in a cell where they were watched by armed guards for 12 hours. Their passports were ultimately confiscated and they were sent back home. The Mail has a picture of the deportation paperwork. (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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