Although I’ve typically had enjoyable experiences with Apple Store staff members, that doesn’t seem to be the case for everybody. I’ve come across several stories where customers have left Apple Stores extremely upset with its employees.

One of the most interesting tales I’ve come across lately was featured in a recent TUAW article. If you haven’t heard the story of Joe Lipari and his infamous Apple Store-Facebook-rant turned felony, you might want to keep reading…

Joe Lipari visited the popular Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City seeking help with his iPhone. Unsatisfied with the service, the enraged customer took to his Facebook page to vent his frustrations.

While that might seem harmless to most people, his status update was a tad bit on the crazy side:

“Joe Lipari might walk into an Apple store on Fifth Avenue with an Armalite AR-10 gas powered semi-automatic weapon and pump round after round into one of those smug, fruity little concierges.”

A Facebook friend reported the threatening post to the local authorities, who later arrested Lipari and slapped him with multiple felony charges for making terroristic threats. “I posted a paraphrased quote from ‘Fight Club’ and within 95 minutes a SWAT team was at my door.”

The New York citizen faced up to 7 years in prison for what he claimed was a simple joke. Lipari spent the next few years in and out of court fighting the charges. “The plea deals got better every time, but I wasn’t going to accept any deal except ‘not guilty'”

This all happened back in 2009, but the New York Metro ran a profile on Joe Lipari yesterday outlining the incident. Though the felony charges were dropped earlier this year, Lipari might have to live the rest of his life known as “The poster child for Internet stupidity.”

Thoughts? Do you have a crazy Apple retail story?

  • I had a faulty fan bearing in my MBP

    I took it into the store and said “I have a faulty fan bearing. it makes this sound: (Played a recording I had)”

    The rep said “Sounds like a plan! Come back in 2 hours”

    I came back in two hours and left with my now fixed MBP.

  • KiraXD

    its a quote from fight club

    • KiraXD

      eh.. guy was dumb though

  • Rjpalen

    Lolol Ahh fight club is amazing, bet he posted that from his iPhone lol. Never had a bad apple store experience though.

  • Chris

    How many thousands of dollars were wasted on this though, seriously the world has gonemad where they will throw money away taking people to court for this yet an actual terrorist can literally get away with murder !!

  • Buba Abdule

    Terrorists use Blackberrys and everyone knows that, He must have been an Americain then.

    • Lol this story is awesome

    • Cameron

      Americans can be terrorists

  • His frend must have been a douche bag,
    #1. Because he snitched on a frend
    #2. Because he failed to recognise a quote from fight club

    • Lupius

      How many people on your Facebook are your “friends”?

      • Alec

        917 of them…

  • none

  • Gutentag

    Ah yes terror threats are my favorite.

  • Manuel

    Stupid stuff. More prove that the FBI and CIA read your Facebook to know your every action.

    • Alec

      It says he was reported to authorities by someone who saw the post… Conspiracy theorist much?

      • The timing is weird though, Alec. NYPD originally said it was a 911 call. Then they retracted that and said this “friend” walked into a police station—in New Jersey—and the cops were there in less than two hours. If you’ve ever gone to the police, I wonder if you’ve had instant service like that. ‘Hey, let’s drop everything, this one guy has come in to tell us about Facebook!’

  • Manuel

    Proof. Can we get an edit button on our comments please 🙂

    • Ernesto Castellanos

      Agree! +1

  • potamus

    Only in the USA can something like this happen. Getting a SWAT team at your door because of a Fight Club quote posted in HIS OWN facebook profile? Oh, c’mon, gimme a F$%&G break! And for crying out loud… a facebook “friend” reported him…? What type of freak friend is that????

  • This is just a case of simple weakness. Weakness to control anger.

    Predictable result.

    I think that was the right reaction by the authorities (to investigate, at least).

    • Cameron

      To investigate at tops!

  • Armagedon

    Bloody stupid no freedom of speech anywhere these days. Hmm I might just blow up that Apple store 3.2.1 oh what no S.W.A.T team lol well back to my bomb lab. I mean shed bk to my shed

    • Ernesto Castellanos

      Haha. Be careful with what you say. Yes u have the freedom of speech; as long as it does not make someone feel unsafe about what you are saying. (or as long as it does not intervene with other people’s rights, which are the rights of property, liberty, and pursuit of happiness,..among others)

  • Shaz

    i love how it says ” a facebook friend ” reported him.. worst.. friend.. everrrrrr haha

  • c


  • Cameron

    People go to prison for 4 years sometimes for murder, and this guy went for 7 because he was angry? WOW mad world…

  • Sebastian why must you delete comments afraid of something ? That guy on twitter was right about what they’ve been accusing you of. I guess

  • vik071

    Employees at Fifth Avenue store are obnoxious, arrogant and condescending. This is an opinion of someone who worked number of years in retail sales for large electronic chain in a busy downtown location.
    For instance, a simple question “Do you guys plan on selling unlocked iPhones like in Canada?” got me a look that said “You should be removed from the premises because you’re a lowlife” with a very dry “NO” for an actual answer.


  • Jon Keller

    Try to remember theses employees make a whopping $11/hour and have to deal with arrogant insulting customers for hours on end.the employees have no information beyond what is public knowledge. A US store has no info on Canada and vice versa. You set the employye up asking the question and the “look” they gave you and the words you associated with the look is your interpretation. The source of the emotion is not e employee it is you!nget some therapy dude.

  • I seem to recall that the NYPD had no record of a 911 call, despite earlier claims they did. They later changed their story to say that the “friend” went to the police station in person. That’s pretty amazing timing—in less than two hours.

    I don’t think the guy’s stupid. We’ve all probably posted worse. The difference is Joe got unlucky—and post-Snowden, I think we all know why.