Man arrested after police say Facebook ‘poke’ violated protective order

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MILFORD, Conn. -- A Connecticut man was arrested after police say he "poked" a woman via Facebook, violating a protective order she filed against him, WTIC reports.  Police said they took Eric Bauer, 27, into custody.

State's Attorney Kevin Lawlor said, "This is the first one in this courthouse I'm aware of."

Lawlor would not comment on this particular case, but did say with instant access to social media sites on cellphones, police, attorneys, and judges certainly see similar situations, but the rules are spelled out.

"I think the courts do a good job of explaining no contact means no contact in any way, shape, or form," said Lawlor.

Even though a poke is a nonverbal form of communication, it's still communicating by trying to get the person's attention.

Bauer's friend showed us her Android phone, similar to his, where the "poke "and the "block" button are right next to each other. She says he was trying to block the woman who has a restraining order against him as he does against her.

Lawlor said, "Because this type of communication has become so intertwined in everyone's everyday life, yes it's gonna keep raising its head and we have to be looking for it."

The incident took place on May 5 and Bauer was arrested May 23. Bauer was charged with a violation of a protective order and violation of a restraining order. Each carry up to five years in prison. He's due back in court June 7.

A Facebook "poke" is a means to get someone's attention, or say hello. Facebook users can turn off pokes by blocking them.