A young man from Florida who threatened violence at Escondido Charter High School just north of San Diego has been sentenced to a state-sanctioned boot camp as punishment for the crime.
The Escondido Police Department (EPD) said Tuesday that the man, now 20 years old, was sentenced in late June to complete the program for youth offenders. If he doesn’t comply, he could be sent to prison.
The man, who lives in Miami, admitted he was responsible for posting messages on social media on Jan. 16, 2014, in which he threatened violence at Escondido Charter High School – all the way on the other side of the country. The EPD said the message contained details on violent crimes that would be committed on the campus, specifically at 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 17, 2014.
The EPD took the threat seriously. As a precaution, all school activities were canceled that day. Students and parents were shaken by the incident, and police were left trying to figure out who had made the threats.
The investigation eventually led detectives to the suspect in Miami, who was 17 years old at the time. On March 18, 2014, the minor confessed to the crime; his case was then transferred to the Florida State Attorney’s Office.
More than three years later, the EPD said this case serves as a reminder that all crimes – even cyber threats from far away – will be prosecuted.
EPD Chief Craig Carter said this case was a collaborative effort made possible with the work of the San Diego Computer and Technology Crime High-Tech Response Team (CATCH), the Miami State Attorney’s Office and the FBI.