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Burning legal question: Can glitter bombing someone land me in legal trouble?

Burning legal question: Can glitter bombing someone land me in legal trouble?

Glitter bombing someone can be harmless fun. After all, glitter is just sparkly confetti. But, as the saying goes, all that glitters is not gold. These tiny pieces of reflective paper may be nice to look at, but they can also be used to inflict pain and humiliation. If you’ve ever thought about glitter bombing someone as a prank or for other reasons, read up.

Glitter bombing: A brief history

Glitter bombing is a term used to describe an act of protest in which glitter is thrown in the face of the person or people being protested against. As early as 2012, particularly during the presidential election cycle, some LGBT activists were glitter bombing or “glittering” politicians. Since then, the act has been used by a variety of groups and individuals to make their voices heard. Because why settle for only verbal heckling when you can launch a glitter attack?

Other notable personalities have been targets of a glitter bomb. In 2011, gay rights activist Nick Espinosa dumped glitter on Newt Gingrich and his wife, Callista, at an event in Minnesota sponsored by a group that was opposed to same-sex marriage. In 2012, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum was also glitter bombed by gay rights activists and Occupy movement protesters in Tacoma, Washington.

Also in 2012, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney got glittered at a rally in Eagan, Minnesota and was chill about it. He even called the sparkly stuff confetti, a positive spin for winning in the Florida primary.

There would be more instances of politicians and celebrities getting glitter bombed for different reasons. In some cases, it is used to heckle a celebrity. In 2013, Lindsay Lohan got glittered while walking toward the Los Angeles Courthouse — and it was not from a fan celebrating.

While glitter bombing may seem like a harmless way to get your point across, it can have serious consequences for those involved. While Mr. Gingrich was unbothered by it, Mr. Romney and his team became less chill about it eventually. In 2012, a Colorado student was arrested after pelting Mr. Romney with glitter. The glitter bomber was arrested for disrupting a school function and throwing a missile onto school property.

Can glitter bombing someone land you in legal trouble?

The main consequence of getting glittered is having to clean up the glitter on one’s clothing. And glitter sprinkled onto hair may be tricky, though not impossible, to remove. These inconveniences are hardly worth suing a glitter bomber for.

But still, glitter bombers can get themselves in legal trouble. For one, they could be arrested for disturbing the peace, assault, or making a scene. In some cases, glitterers could also be sued for damages, especially if they use vast amounts of glitter, which could get into someone's eyes or nose and cause irritation, a scratch, or an infection.

Assaulting someone by throwing a container of glitter onto them could definitely get one sued.

In January 2022, Sarah Franks and Kaitlin O'Donovan threw a container of glitter at Jacob Colon in his house in Clearwater, Florida. The twosome's glitter attack struck Mr. Colon in the upper head and torso.

In addition, Ms. Franks broke into Mr. Colon's apartment where she allegedly continued to pelt him with more glitter containers. She then unlocked the door to let in her partner-in-crime who also threw more containers at Mr. Colon, according to the arrest document.

After the glitter assault, Ms. Franks kicked a window at the apartment before fleeing with Ms. O'Donovan. The women were charged with felony burglary and assault or battery. Ms. Franks was additionally accused of misdemeanor criminal mischief, but she was later released on a $75,250 bail.

It remains unclear what their motive was, but if they had only stuck to glitter bombing Mr. Colon without entering into his private property, they probably would not have been arrested.

If you're going to glitter bomb someone, make sure you know your rights — and more importantly, be aware of the potential consequences. Glitter bombing may seem like a fabulous way to protest and heckle someone, but it can have serious repercussions. On the other hand, if you incur injuries as a result of a glitter bomb, consult a personal injury lawyer.

Buckingham, LaGrandeur, & Williams are the attorneys to call for your personal injury case in Washington State. Leave us a message today.