Update on 9/30/21: Charges against Briscoe were dropped earlier this week.
Earlier: An Arlington woman has been arrested for allegedly ignoring a court order not to talk about a local restaurant employee on her popular social media accounts.
Crystal Briscoe, known to her nearly 25,000 TikTok followers as Coco, was arrested Monday morning at her apartment along Columbia Pike for violating a Emergency Protective Order (EPO) issued just five hours before. She is scheduled to be arraigned in Arlington General District Court tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon.
The charge against her is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable in Virginia by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
The arrest follows several days of posts from Briscoe on TikTok and Instagram in which she alleged an elaborate plot to harass her online via social media comments and fake online dating profiles created by employees at two Columbia Pike restaurants: Rebellion on the Pike and The Celtic House Irish Pub & Restaurant.
Briscoe called one particular employee a “stalker” and alleged that the employee was able to obtain the protective order because she is dating an Arlington County police officer.
A 39-year-old Virginia native who moved to Arlington during the pandemic after a time in Southern California, where she worked as a Zumba instructor and a comedy writer, Briscoe gained a following on TikTok for her candid commentary on the D.C. dating scene. She said in a video over the weekend that the harassment started following a bad date at one of the restaurants, after which the employees — who she dubs “the Pikeys” — started to bully her, take videos of her, and “plant” a person to date her.
In another TikTok post she threatened to call the FBI about the alleged harassment and suggested, without evidence, that the restaurants were complicit in their employees’ behavior.
“Call your dogs off, Rebellion and Celtic. Or I will do everything in my power to have your businesses shut down. Everything. I’ve only asked you to leave me alone,” she said. Each TikTok post has garnered tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of views, along with hundreds of supportive comments from Briscoe’s fans, who have also flooded the Yelp pages for Rebellion and Celtic House with negative reviews.
(Both Yelp pages have since been locked to new reviews in response to “unusual activity” and “increased public attention.”)
A police spokeswoman said the protective order was issued by a magistrate early Monday morning, ordering Briscoe to stop posting on social media about one particular person, and was quickly violated.
“On Sunday, August 8th, police responded to the Magistrate’s Office for the report of harassment,” said ACPD’s Ashley Savage. “At approximately 2:29 a.m. on August 9th, the Magistrate issued an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) for the petitioner against Ms. Briscoe.”
“At approximately 5:35 a.m., officers… served Ms. Briscoe with the EPO and explained the conditions of the order which included ‘respondent is to keep the peace, not discuss petitioner on social media,'” Savage continued. “Ms. Briscoe subsequently violated the conditions of the EPO and an arrest warrant for violation of Virginia Code § 16.1-253.2. Violation of provisions of protective orders was issued by the Magistrate. At approximately 7:30 a.m., officers responded… and took Ms. Briscoe into custody without incident on the outstanding warrant.”
Briscoe was released on her own recognizance, court records show. A defense attorney was not listed. Briscoe could not be reached for comment.
Asked about the allegations against ACPD and an officer supposedly in a relationship with the person who obtained an order, Savage said she was unable to comment on the personal life of someone who obtained a protective order.
“The police department cannot speak to the personal relationships of petitioners of EPOs, however, the officer that responded to this incident has no personal relationship with the petitioner,” she said.
An employee reached by phone at Celtic House said the restaurant had “no comment at the moment.” Rebellion on the Pike published a statement on its Instagram account on Monday, saying that the allegations against it were “false” and a “smear.”
To our friends and followers,
Unfortunately, over the last few days there has been an attack on our character and integrity across social media. Due to an ongoing police investigation, we have been unable to comment up to this point. Now that several Emergency Protective Orders have been issued by multiple jurisdictions and an arrest has been made, we can now publicly state that this attempt to smear our business has zero evidence and truth to it.
We are saddened for all the individuals involved, especially the true victim in this case. We know that those who have visited our page perpetuating these false accusations did so with good intentions and were not aware of the inaccuracy of the information they received. We are an organization that promotes equality and are proud to have a management team made up of strong females. We do not and will not tolerate any type of harassment against anyone and remain committed to hiring individuals of the highest caliber with these same ethics in mind.
While there has been a surge of negativity directed our way, we are so grateful for the outpouring of support we have received through our local community. You see our values in action every day and know what is really going on here. Thank you for your comments, messages and calls. We are thankful to be a part of this community and look forward to continuing to serve you for years to come.
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