Roanoke Times
Copyright (c) 1996, Roanoke Times

DATE: Sunday, October 6, 1996


An employee of a telemarketing company threatened to burn a man's home and called with racial slurs after the man backed out of an offer to buy magazine subscriptions, Hampton police said.

Police arrested Joseph C. Joyner, 21, in Virginia Beach late Tuesday. Joyner, an employee at International Marketing Association Inc. in Virginia Beach, was charged with threatening to burn a house and using profanity and abusive language on the telephone. Threatening to burn is a felony that carries a jail sentence of one to 10 years.

Police Cpl. Jeff Walden said the charges stemmed from a complaint about two vulgar and threatening messages on Harold Evans Jr.'s answering machine Sept. 21, a day after he accepted a telemarketer's phone offer to buy magazine subscriptions.

Evans, 29, said he agreed to subscribe to seven magazines until a courier visited him the next day to collect the money.

``I changed my mind,'' Evans said. But the courier persisted. until Evans ordered him to leave.

After the incident with the courier, there were three phone calls, Evans said. In one recorded message, the caller said, ``I'm glad you're not home. I'll kill you,'' Evans said.

"He told me, `If you ever touch a white man again, the Aryan Nation will kill you,''' Evans said. The Aryan Nation is a white supremacy group.

Evans, who is black, gave the taped messages to police as evidence.

- Associated Press

C.A.T.S. comment: The telemarketing industry has always touted how telemarketing has the "personal" touch, as well as the "convenience of buying at home". Could they top this for "personal"?

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