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Police warn teen over Twitter abuse of UK diver Tom Daley

By Hilary Whiteman, CNN
updated 11:40 PM EDT, Tue July 31, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • British police arrest a 17-year-old over Twitter messages to British diver Tom Daley
  • Rileyy_69 sent Daley a message saying that he had let his father down
  • Daley's father died last year of brain cancer
  • Police issue teenager with harassment warning and bailed him to return to station

(CNN) -- British police have arrested a teenager suspected of sending an offensive Twitter message to British Olympic diver Tom Daley.

Officers detained a 17-year-old man at a guest house in "the Weymouth area" of the county of Dorset in the early hours of Tuesday morning, they said.

The unnamed teenager was questioned on "suspicion of malicious communications," a police spokeswoman told CNN, and later issued with a harassment warning.

"In addition to the warning the teenager has been bailed to return to the police station at a later date whilst Dorset Police investigate other communications on his Twitter account," police said in a statement.

Read more: Olympians in the social media spotlight

On Monday, Daley retweeted a message he said he'd received from user "Rileyy_69" shortly after he and his partner Peter Waterfield placed fourth in the men's 10m synchronized dive, failing to win a medal.

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"After giving it my all...you get idiot's sending me this...RT @Rileyy_69: @TomDaley1994 you let your dad down i hope you know that," teen diving star Daley tweeted.

Daley's father died in May 2011 after a long battle with brain cancer.

The tweet triggered a stream of support and praise for Daley's efforts, and disgust at rileyy_69's message snowballed into a campaign to have him banned from Twitter.

#GetRileyy_69Banned was trending on Twitter as users urged others to retweet the message. A tweet from @QuotingJokes calling for a ban was retweeted more than 12,000 times overnight.

After the initial tweet, a number of abusive messages were sent between Twitter users, including threats of violence which appeared to have been posted by the user Rileyy_69.

Read more: Fans asked to tweet from Olympics only if it's 'urgent'

Rileyy_69 also posted several apologies for his initial tweet, including one in which he claimed he didn't realize that Daley's father had died.

"but mate i didn't know about his dad I've just seen about it on the news they mentioned me," he wrote.

In the early hours of the morning, he managed to tweet "I'm going to the ****** police station now to sort this out I will be back."

His last tweet read: "night everyone and im geniunely sorry for what's happened today just know that im actually a really nice person and I regret what I've said."

Read more: Twitter suspends journalist who was critical of NBC

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