Lottery scratch-off loser keeps phoning in threats, cops say

Police say a Philadelphia woman repeatedly aired her frustration at failing to win a jackpot by making obscene and violent threats against Pennsylvania Lottery headquarters.

Lower Swatara Township Police said Wednesday they filed 53 charges against 47-year-old Towanda Shields, who they accused of making dozens of calls over the past eight months.

Detective Robert Appleby says Shields recently said someone would die at the retail store where she buys tickets. He says she’s also told lottery employees she had searched for them online and knew where they lived.

He says she’s defended her right to make the calls on free-speech grounds. The detective says her main interest is scratch-off tickets.

Police haven’t served Shields with an arrest warrant, and she doesn’t appear to have a listed phone number.

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